Happenings in IR at Marshall University


At Marshall University, the Office of Institutional Research and Planning has been diligently working on several projects aimed at enhancing data management, analysis, and reporting capabilities. Our efforts are focused on leveraging new technologies, improving data accuracy, and ensuring that our data governance standards meet the highest benchmarks. Here’s a small update on our recent endeavors.

Integrating SalesForce EnrollmentRX Data into PowerBI

Starting just this week, we have initiated a significant project to integrate our new SalesForce EnrollmentRX data into PowerBI . This initiative aims to replace some of our older BERT/Banner reporting mechanisms, offering a more dynamic and interactive platform for data visualization analysis and data access. This integration will enable us to provide more detailed and actionable insights into our admissions and enrollment processes, aiding in strategic decision-making and operational efficiency.

Banner and Blackboard Data Integration

Another groundbreaking project is the integration of Ellucian Banner data with Blackboard data through Anthology’s Snowflake instance in PowerBI. This integration facilitates a unified view of academic and administrative data, enabling more comprehensive analysis and reporting. It enhances our ability to track and support student success, course management, and academic performance across different dimensions.

Enhancing Our Syllabus API

Recognizing the importance of efficiency and accessibility in academic resources, we have begun the process of enhancing our syllabus API. This improvement means faculty will now only need to upload a syllabus in one location and it will automatically be available in the syllabus repository, Blackboard, and to assessment committees. This not only streamlines the process but also ensures that syllabi are easily accessible where they are most needed, reducing redundancy and saving valuable time for both faculty and students.

Reorganization of Office Files and Documentation

We are set to launch a massive reorganization project by developing a comprehensive plan to reorganize the office’s myriad of files, reports, and scripts with standard documentation and new folder organization structures. This initiative aims to improve accessibility, enhance efficiency, and ensure data integrity and security when searching for existing scripts. Standardizing documentation and organizing our digital environment will facilitate smoother operations and easier navigation of our resources.

Predictive Analysis Ahead of Reporting Deadlines

A forward-looking project I am particularly excited about involves breaking the mold (and norm) and developing predictive reports instead of reactive reports to provide a predicted analysis on ratios for headcounts and enrollments and more. This proactive approach allows us to offer insights in advance of reporting, rather than as a response, enabling more strategic planning and decision-making across the university.

Validation Scripts for Data Stewards

Continuing our commitment to data accuracy and integrity, we continue to develop validation scripts against data in our Banner environment for our data stewards. These scripts are designed to identify and rectify discrepancies, ensuring that our data stewards are working with the most accurate and reliable information available.

Partnerships for Better Data Governance

Lastly, we are in the process of establishing a partnership with our colleagues at the newly formed Marshall Health Network to foster better data governance standards. This collaboration aims to align our data governance practices which are still in their infancy with the best industry standards, ensuring that our data management processes are robust, secure, and effective.

In conclusion, these projects are a sample of what we do on a weekly/monthly basis as our ongoing commitment to excellence in institutional research and planning at Marshall University. By embracing new technologies, enhancing our data management practices, and fostering strategic partnerships, we are setting the foundation for a data-informed future that supports our students, faculty, and administrative staff in the most effective ways possible.

To a bright future with data!

Brian M. Morgan
Chief Data Officer, Marshall University

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