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Building foundations for business intelligence

May 16, 2018

Financial Aid Desk in SSBAll organizations change over time, including institutions of higher education. The ability to analyze current and longitudinal data provides valuable insights about these changes.

Historically, it’s been difficult to create consistent reports using MSU Denver’s institutional data from disparate systems such as Banner, various databases and spreadsheets. To help solve this disparity, Metropolitan State University of Denver is creating an enterprise data warehouse – a unified database that holds all the business information for the University and makes it accessible within a common reporting environment.

One place that’s already taking advantage of this is the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, which has been working with the EDW to translate its financial aid data tables into Banner to deal with complex system matrices. Michelle LeBoo, associate director of financial aid, said the office will use information to improve processes such as award packaging and realigning staff coverage during high-traffic periods to provide service more efficiently.

“Even though we’re still in the midst of setting everything up, working with the enterprise data warehouse has already been quite enlightening,” LeBoo said. “It’s helped us say, ‘Hey, why are we doing this?’ and make improvements — that’s been an unintentional benefit.”

The key advantage of the EDW is that it allows the University to consolidate information from multiple University systems into a single trusted source. Additional benefits include:

  • Reports that utilize University-defined data definitions, ensuring that the information presented is understandable and consistent across departments and business functions.
  • Assisting with the cleanup of inconsistent data in Banner, benefiting all users by ensuring that the data they see is accurate.
  • Integration of historical data, making trend reporting much more powerful and intuitive.
  • Changes over time that can be reconciled with the EDW so reporting remains consistent as MSU Denver’s use of Banner evolves.

Ultimately, the EDW is a consolidated reporting environment that will provide historical, current and predictive data via easy-to-understand reports, views and dashboards, giving faculty and staff convenient access to useful information.

“It’s an amazing tool from what I’ve seen thus far,” LeBoo said. “What used to take us 30 minutes to over an hour to do now takes us less than a minute; everyone we’ve worked with has been great too.” 

For additional information or to request standard and/or custom reports for your department, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 303-352-7548 or submit a request online at support.msudenver.edu.

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