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Rensselaer Data Warehouse Project

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(Jun 14, 2004) John Kolb, Chief Information Officer, Jeff Miner, Director of Integrated Administrative Computing Services, Jack Mahoney, Director of Institutional Research, and Ora Fish, Manager of the Data Warehouse Project presented the achievements and progress of the Rensselaer Data Warehouse Initiative to the President's Cabinet. The presentation included a live demonstration by Jack Mahoney on the analytical capabilities in areas of enrollment, retention, human resources, labor, graduate financial aid, finance, and research administration.

(Apr 20, 2004) Members of the Steering Committee presented the achievements made thus far by the Data Warehouse Initiative to the Sponsorship committee. As part of this meeting, the Sponsorship Committee identified the next three areas of focus for the Data Warehouse Initiative. These areas are: Faculty Access to provide research financial information to faculty and researchers, the Prospects Financial Aid Data Mart, and the Institute Advancement Data Mart.

(Apr 2004) Consisting of ten years of historical information, the Research Administration (Proposals and Awards) Data Mart was released to the Research Administration and Finance Office, the Budgeting Office, and the Office of the VP for Research.

(Feb 2004) With the invaluable assistance of Karen Long, Director of Undergraduate Enrollment, Paul Bauer, Director of Graduate Enrollment, and Jack Mahoney, Director of Institutional Research, the Admissions Data Mart was released to the Enrollment Management Office. Including data back to Fall 2000, the Admissions Data Mart provides information about prospective Rensselaer graduate and undergraduate students and their applications.

(Aug 1, 2003) With the assistance of Student Records & Financial Services, the Data Warehouse Group officially released the Student, Graduate Financial Aid, and Financial Aid Data Marts to core users. Rollout continues as additional users are trained to access student enrollment and financial aid data primarily via the Brio Insight plugin.

(Jul 27, 2003) Working with Human Resources and the Finance Office, the Data Warehouse Group officially moved the Position Control & Labor Data Marts into production. Rollout continues as additional users are trained in Brio Insight to access data involving employees, jobs, positions, labor, payroll, etc.

(Jun 10, 2003) Members of the Data Warehouse Group travelled west to Cornell University to attend a Brio Users Group meeting. As part of the conference, Rensselaer presented the accomplishments and organization of the Rensselaer Data Warehouse Project (click here to view the presentation slides).

(Apr 1, 2003) To share past progress and the future plans of the data warehouse project with members of the Rensselaer community, a Data Warehouse Orientation Meeting was held in the Heffner Alumni House. Similar to the original Orientation Meeting in March 2002, this event provided an opportunity to learn about the data warehouse project, experience the existing data warehouse environment, ask questions, and gain a better understanding of who is working on what. Speakers included John Kolb, Ora Fish, Eileen McLoughlin, Virginia Gregg, and others. Click here to view the presentation slides.

(Feb 4-Feb 5, 2003) The charter members of the Position Control Testing Group met with the Data Warehouse Group to review the Position Control data models and began utilizing both Brio Insight and Brio Explorer to evaluate the data models and corresponding data.

(Jan 31, 2003) The Data Warehouse Group began providing Brio 101 Training to financial managers and members of Human Resources.

(Jan 21-Jan 24, 2003) Members of the Data Warehouse Group continued the Finance Data Mart training by holding specialized hands-on sessions with portfolio financial managers and members of the Finance office. Training consisted of specific step-by-step exercises using the Brio Insight plugin, as well as homework assignments to encourage folks to continue the learning process at their own desktops. Refer to this presentation (in PowerPoint Slide Show format) for more information, as well as the training exercises (in PDF format).

(Dec 20, 2002) Members of the Data Warehouse Group provided Finance Data Mart and Brio Portal training to members of Finance and financial managers from across campus.

(Dec 13, 2002) The Data Warehouse Group met with members of the Finance Office to review and revise the metadata associated with the Finance Data Mart. More specifically, the goal of this meeting was to finalize business definitions of the data elements of the Finance Data Mart.

(Dec 2, 2002) The data warehouse Sponsorship Committee approved Student and Graduate Financial Aid (GFA) as the next data marts to be developed as part of the data warehouse project. Members of both the Sponsorship Committee and Steering Committee also received a status of the data warehouse project. Refer to this presentation (in PDF format) for more information.

(Dec 2002) Development work on the Position Control data mart is well underway. The expectation is that this new data mart will be available for initial user testing in January and February 2003.

(Nov 21-Nov 22, 2002) A consultant from Brio Software provided Brio 101 Training for over 15 portfolio financial managers and other users from both the Troy campus and Hartford campus.

(Nov 14-Nov 22, 2002) The Data Warehouse Group presented the data warehouse and executive dashboards to a Market Testing Group across the campus in an effort to share information and solicit feedback. Market testing participants included: Joe Flaherty, Dean, School of Science; Sam Wait, Associate Dean, School of Science; Bud Baeslack, Dean, School of Engineering; Donna Tomlinson, Manager of Financial Operations, School of Engineering; David Haviland, VP for Institute Advancement; Art Sanderson, VP for Research; Wolf von Maltzahn, Associate VP for Research; and Tanya Struzinsky, Financial Manager, Research.

(Nov 1, 2002) Based on the ongoing work and support of the Finance Office and the Data Warehouse Group, the Finance Data Mart officially went live for Finance users. After substantial efforts, members of Finance use Brio Explorer (the desktop client BI tool) to directly access the data within the data warehouse. This official go-live date marks the beginning of full-scale campus rollout of the Finance Data Mart.

(Jul-Oct 2002) Through numerous meetings and discussions, the Data Policy Committee developed the data policies governing the data warehouse. In turn, the Data Warehouse Group implemented the security policies directly before production rollout in November 2002.

(Jul-Aug 2002) The Finance Office used the pre-production Finance Data Mart to support their budgeting and auditing processes.

(Jun 18, 2002) The data warehouse Sponsorship Committee selected Position Control and Research as the next data marts of the data warehouse initiative, the scope of each to be defined after detailed analysis and data audits are performed. Also during this meeting, members of both the Sponsorship Committee and Steering Committee received a status of the data warehouse initiative, as well as a web-based demonstration of the Rensselaer Brio Portal (login required) and executive-level dashboards. Refer to this presentation (in PDF format) for more information.

(May 20-May 31, 2002) Members of the Data Warehouse Group worked through hands-on Brio Fast-Track training in which Brio Consultants helped to install and configure the Brio server and web components.

(May 20, 2002) Core members of the Financial Analysis Implementation and Financial Analysis Reviewer groups met to develop a testing strategy and to review the metadata definitions.

(May 6-May 8, 2002) Members of the Financial Analysis Implementation and Financial Analysis Reviewer groups received training in the end-user Business Intelligence (BI) tools, Brio Explorer and Brio Designer. Details of the course content are available via this link (refer to the 2-day Explorer 6.x and 1-day Designer 6.x courses).

(May 2, 2002) Members of the Financial Analysis Implementation and Financial Analysis Reviewer groups received initial training in data warehousing and modeling. Click here to view the presentation materials.

(Apr 4, 2002) Members of the Financial Analysis Implementation group met to brainstorm on the design of financial EIS dashboards.

(Mar 1, 2002) In an effort to communicate the goals of the data warehouse project to members of the Institute, the Data Warehouse Orientation Meeting occurred on Friday, March 1. This meeting provided an opportunity to learn more about the data warehouse project, ask questions, and gain a better understanding of who is working on what. Speakers included John Kolb, Jeff Miner, Sharon Kunkel, Ora Fish, Eileen McLoughlin, and Gary Gabriele. Click here to view John Kolb's presentation slides.

(Feb 26-Feb 28, 2002) Bob Becker from DecisionWorks Consulting, Inc. returned to Rensselaer to analyze and review the Financial Analysis data models with the Data Warehouse Group. During the 3-day session, Bob provided invaluable advice and feedback on the financial data models.

(Feb 11-Feb 22, 2002) Representatives from Informatica visited Rensselaer to teach the Data Warehouse Group how to use Informatica's PowerCenter® tool and how to apply Informatica's Velocity Methodology™ to develop the ETL processes.

(Jan 16, 2002) The data warehouse Steering Committee nominated members for the Financial Analysis Implementation Group, the Financial Analysis Reviewer Group, and the Data Policy Committee.

(Jan 14-Jan 17, 2002) The Data Warehouse Group met with Institute business representatives in requirements gathering sessions. The objective of these working sessions was to understand the detailed business goals and priorities, and therefore the detailed reporting and analytical needs, of the upcoming Financial Analysis data mart. Refer to the Financial Analysis Requirements Findings document (in PDF format) for more information.

(Dec 19, 2001) Brio Software was selected by the Business Intelligence (BI) Tool Selection Committee as the vendor that will provide the generic end-user BI tool for the Rensselaer data warehouse environment.

(Nov 19, 2001) Informatica Corporation was selected as the vendor that will provide the Extraction, Transformation, and Loading (ETL) component of the Rensselaer data warehouse architecture. Other vendors that participated in the ETL tool evaluation process included Cognos and Ascential.

(Oct 18, 2001) The data warehouse Sponsorship Committee unanimously selected Financial Analysis as the initial implementation phase of the data warehouse project. Refer to the DecisionWorks Findings document (in PDF format) for more information.

(Oct 18, 2001) The data warehouse Sponsorship Committee nominated members for the Business Intelligence (BI) Tool Selection Committee and tasked the committee to choose the enterprise-wide BI tool for the Rensselaer data warehouse environment.

(Sep 10-Sep 19, 2001) To ensure a requirements-driven approach to building the Rensselaer data warehouse, DotCIO contracted with DecisionWorks Consulting to conduct an Institute-wide business requirements analysis. Click here for more information.

"The Data Warehouse has provided us with analysis that we have not been able to get at before because the data was not retrievable in a fashion conducive to perform analytics."

--- Kirsten Volpi, Assistant VP for Finance, Controller

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