Analytics & Business Intelligence

Data Management: A Cognitive Choice

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Part 1
Part 2

Data Management, A Cognitive Choice - Jeffrey Castle and Brian Wallace

Jeffrey Castle, Psychology Department Desktop Support Manager, and Brian Wallace, Student Administration Manager, presented, “ Data Management, A Cognitive Choice,” in which the department’s data management system, PDIS (Psychology Department Information System), was highlighted.

Subsequent discussion included participants from various U-M colleges and units, including Office of the Provost, Ross Business School, and the School of Dentistry. The attendees raised challenges, recognized potential solutions, and identified other topics for consideration.

Course planning tools are useful for larger U-M units; however, units responsible for fewer courses may find such tools cumbersome.
Units responsible for fewer courses may find tools related to faculty management beneficial.
U-M units want to know what others are thinking and doing about BI and data management.
Leverage the BI website blog as “White Board” space for ongoing discussion and the sharing of ideas.
Each department shares a common need to standardize processes, such as producing a curriculum or submitting annual reviews by faculty.
The commonly used Wolverine Access system provides some standardized processes. It shows departments areas of similarity and how they can be supported by a common system that affords a level of flexibility.
Schools are looking at solutions to manage faculty curriculum vitae, as well as track publications, citations and presentations. Tracking is important because it drives other processes such as the expert finder, annual reviews, etc.
Identify opportunities to combine efforts where there are intersecting needs among schools and colleges.

Topics for Consideration:

  1. Tracking preferences are important in curriculum development. Preference management is a universal need that includes managing faculty, using student types, and identifying course and time preferences.

  2. Establishing technical guidelines for application development would be useful in moving toward application integration and sharing across units.

  3. Most units do not have personnel dedicated to managing local vs. central and external data streams. Devising system solutions, which require gathering, application development and data modeling, is not an effort they can support.

  4. How do we validate self-reported data? Why is it important to validate data, and where might it be acceptable?

  5. Schools and colleges need to integrate data into an application that can be supported and useful to their needs. Examples of integrated data include curriculum planning and faculty HR.

  6. Unit leadership must be able to translate to his/her own unit the value of standardizing information. Complete support and cooperation is necessary for effectively transitioning to new processes.

After-event survey results indicated attendees collectively found the information shared to be beneficial and applicable to their jobs. The speakers were considered informative and their presentations were well received.

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