Data Initiative

Data Initiative Survey link


Over the last decade, there has been increasing demand to assess institutional performance and student outcomes from various groups including the System Office, individual colleges, accreditation agencies, grant funders, policy advocates, elected officials, educational organizations, media outlets, and other government agencies.  With these growing demands there is a need for a robust informational system and efficient collection process that result in accurate, timely and accessible data beyond the limitations and scope of the current system.

The Data Initiative officially kicked off on May 4, 2012 and is led by Chris Cline and Bill Schneider.  Executive oversight is provided by Dr. Saundra Williams from the System Office and Dr. David Shockley, President of Surry Community College.  This multi-year initiative will aim to be completed by 2015.

Contact Chris Cline (919) 807-6985 or Bill Schneider (919) 807-6979


For more information, please see side panel. Initiative

Most Recent Activity Report

December 2014 Activity Report

Monday, December 29, 2014 - 12:50
Decisions: Key Values:

Focus Area Teams are wrapping up their work which has included documenting research questions, defining data elements, and identifying reporting needs. Some specific issues in which these teams have attempted to address have included:
• Ensuring intake forms and applications are inclusive of essential student information
• Facilitating national discussions on the collection of third party certification information
• Identifying key data points associated with student services
• Addressing data requirements associated with the Affordable Care Act
• Rethinking how we collect and report facilities data
• Implementing changes to Instructional Delivery Codes
• Addressing the need to formally track sources of external credit sources
• Defining measures that gauge student success and momentum points leading to that success

The SAS grant has enabled all 58 colleges the access and use of the Educational Suite of products and the adoption is underway at the local levels. The system wide Visual Analytics toolset is in development and 5 pilot colleges have been participating in the review of the first system wide performance measure dashboards.

The System Office ISO) Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) has undergone several modifications to support the findings and recommendations from the Data Initiative. The basic concept of the EDW has remained the same, collect and process the many different subject areas of data from each of the 58 colleges into manageable data for Federal, State and Local reporting needs. The processes for loading the thousands of data files has been streamlines and quality controls have been put in place to ensure quality data being delivered from the colleges to drive better insight into action based on quality data. The frequency of the data transmission is also being retooled to give more frequent views into the data and helping to the organization to be proactive rather than reactive. The tools for accessing the EDW are also in the progress of being upgraded and released to the colleges. Business Objects 4.0 is in beta testing now with an early 2015 general release

Next Steps:

The start of 2015 will focus on reorganization as we prepare for the second half of this Initiative to ensure that it is completed by the end of 2016. Smaller workgroups (10-15 members) will be established and inclusive of those on former teams. These workgroups include:
• Business Requirements – Ensure necessary changes to Colleague as a result of this initiative are prioritized, documented, and implemented
• Data Dictionary – Review data element work completed by the Focus Area Teams, make necessary revisions, define missing elements, and incorporate into a statewide data dictionary.
• Data Entry Workflows – Document workflows to be followed by colleges to ensure consistent data entry
• Data Validation – Ensure proper data validations are in place to ensure quality data prior to extraction
• Data Extraction – Improve processes to facilitate access to timely data at the state level
• Local Reporting – Ensure colleges are maximizing utilization of data reporting tools like Informer and SAS
• Training – Establish a training plan that is inclusive of all data processes from entry to reporting

Other teams associated with the initiative will include:
• Coordinating Team - Made up of leaders from each workgroup. They will meet periodically to ensure that there is limited duplication of effort and ensure all necessary tasks are being completed. As initiative sunsets, will evolve into the Data Governance Committee.
• Project Management Team - Will meet periodically to ensure that tasks are being delivered in a timely manner, budget is being contained and limit work to ensure all business requirements are met. Provide communications to all project sites and staff on progress and items that have been completed and ones that are yet to be completed
• Executive Sponsors - Will meet quarterly to ensure awareness of initiative progress and obstacles

Recent Activity Reports Post date
December 2014 Activity Report 2014-12-29 12:50
December 2013 Activity Report 2013-11-26 11:39
September 2013 Activity Report 2013-09-05 15:25
July 2013 Activity Report 2013-07-22 11:54
June 2013 Activity Report 2013-06-19 14:54
May 2013 Activity Report 2013-05-30 14:50
April 2013 Activity Report 2013-04-25 09:27
March 2013 Activity Report 2013-03-28 09:23
February 2013 Activity Report 2013-02-04 11:20
January 2013 Activity Report 2013-01-07 14:51
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