Expanding Analytics Capabilities and Improving Campus Data Use

Expanding Analytics Capabilities and Improving Campus Data Use

About

Dixie State University (DSU) is a public open-enrollment university with over 11,000 students, three-quarters of whom are from Utah. At DSU, 84% of students receive scholarships, grants, or other financial aid, and 85% of graduates are employed out of college.

Quick Facts

Dixie State University, a Midsize Public Baccalaureate University in St. George, UT

The Challenge

Before their partnership with EAB, institutional research at DSU was largely compliance-driven. Data management and governance were siloed, leading to inconsistent data accuracy and widespread frustration. DSU set out to become a more data-informed organization, appointing Jason Browning to a new cabinet-level Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness position.

The Solution

DSU partnered with EAB to implement Edify, an education data platform, as a data management platform to organize data and facilitate access to reliable information. In addition to implementing the Edify platform on campus, Jason’s team also implemented data governance best practices with EAB’s guidance, building the culture and technical infrastructure to support data-informed decisions.

The Results

DSU’s student data now flows through Edify, and other data sources are being integrated into the platform (e.g., HR, finance). By connecting Edify to Tableau and RStudio, Jason’s team is growing DSU’s analytical capacity, shifting from an environment of snapshots and manually-updated data to interactive visualizations and analyses that can automatically update as data is refreshed.

Jason Browning

Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness

“We’re building out something so robust. Edify represents a culture shift toward data being accessible to all."

Existing Data Efforts Fall Short

Ineffective Processes Lead to Inconsistent Data and Widespread Frustration

Limited Data Access

Data teams encounter difficulties when trying to extract data out of complex campus systems

“What is SFRSTCR?”

Limited Data Governance

Ineffective business processes lead to data of varying quality being entered into systems

“Those aren’t my numbers…”

Limited Resources

DSU doesn’t have the staff or budget to build new data systems themselves. Data teams’ increased responsibilities contribute to a backlog of requests

“It took a year to get that report!”

Pursuing a Better Way

Dixie State’s president created a cabinet-level position for institutional effectiveness to guide the University’s transformation into a data-informed organization.

Creating an Accessible and Aggregated Data Set

In addition to creating a central data repository, DSU recognized that to truly improve data use across campus, they also needed to make data more accessible to end-users.

Using Edify's Quad model, DSU is aggregating data from across their siloed environments and translating them into common-language definitions, markedly reducing the need for joins across multiple tables or systems.

EDH-Quad-Model

Powering Visualization and Analytic Capabilities with Edify

Progress and vision of the Edify-Dixie State University partnership

EDH-DixieState-Data-Vision

Results so far

A single source of truth

  • DSU Banner Student and Slate admissions data is flowing into Edify
  • Data lives in PostgreSQL and connects to DSU’s data tools—Tableau and RStudio

Near-term roadmap

More data, more connections

  • Enter HR, finance, LMS, and other data in Edify
  • Conduct higher-order analyses across all lines of business to surface efficiency opportunities

Future vision: Powering a data-informed campus

  • Provide validated data across campus
  • Enable leaders to make truly data-informed decisions, improving resource allocation and student progress

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