Data and information are the basis for management decisions; having access to well-organized data in a timely manner is often a business challenge. For its development of an advanced academic reporting system to manage institutional data, Rochester Institute of Technology was recognized as a 2010 Computerworld Honors Laureate.
The RIT Data Warehouse project was designated an honors laureate and finalist in the Education and Academia category, part of the national program sponsored by the Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation. Now in its 22nd year, the Computerworld Honors Program recognizes organizations that create and advance information technology strategies to benefit society.
The RIT Data Warehouse is a central, academic reporting and analysis system, developed jointly by the offices of the Registrar and Institutional Research and Policy Studies with the university’s Information and Technology Services team.
“Early on we were struggling with our persistence reporting, graduation reporting and many other data needs that we believed could be addressed with a data warehouse,” says Joan Graham, director of Institutional Research and Policy Studies.
RIT’s system can collect, track, consolidate and manage business data related to vital university indicators such as enrollment, retention and graduation rates. It also is being used to prepare institutional data for federally mandated, academic reports. It is a scalable system that also enables more accurate reporting of internal transfer data and enrollment simulations and projections. Reports that took several weeks to prepare can now be done in a fraction of the time, she says.
RIT was nominated by Informatica, a data integration company the university worked with to build the software platform for the data warehouse. The case study about the creation and usage of the system is included in the 2010 Computerworld Honors Program Global Archives, an online library of award winners.
“While we feel the data warehouse project is a success as an institution, at an executive level, they view the data warehouse and its ability to get data and analytics, as a great step for RIT,” says Jeanne Casares, RIT chief information officer. “To be recognized by Computerworld, to be awarded by our peers, is an additional honor.”