WSU Data Warehouse: Using Data to Make Better Decisions

With the increased availability of data on any number of student characteristics, the ability to track trends in this data and create easy to use and interpret reports is more and more important. The WSU data warehouse environment provides a means to track a variety of meaningful student data. Some examples are as follows:

  • Student demographic characteristics: What does a typical WSU student look like?
  • Enrollment trends: Who enrolls at WSU and in what programs?
  • Student retention: Who stays at WSU on their road to a degree?
  • Graduation rates: How many degrees does WSU grant and in what fields?

Objectives of the Data Warehouse

WSU promotes collaboration across the institution in order to better serve the needs of students and the community. This collaboration extends to the treatment of data and the accessibility of data to campus users. The WSU data warehouse is one tool used to aid in these goals. Specific objectives of the data warehouse initiative are below:

  • To provide easily accessible data for responsive reporting needs of the institution.
  • To provide standardized, human-readable data to all data consumers across the institution.
  • To integrate data from a number of different sources across divisions and departments.
  • To encourage data-driven decision making through the provision of accurate, timely data. 

Data Warehouse Implementation

The strategy for the implementation of the data warehouse project includes two considerations: frequency of use and complexity of the underlying data structure. Initially, the focus of the data warehouse was on the most frequently used data that was also relatively easy to model. This resulted in a large amount of work to be completed in a relatively short period of time. As time progresses, the complexity of the data will increase leading to a decrease in the number of elements produced in a given period of time. Constant monitoring of progress will allow for continued advancement on this project.