Now, more so than ever, higher education is a data-driven enterprise. Whether it’s required reporting or data for informed internal decision-making, being able to quickly extract accurate and pertinent data from an institution’s information infrastructure is vital.
To ensure and enhance Central Washington University’s ability, the university is expanding its Office of Organizational Effectiveness (OE). Jim DePaepe assumed the role of its interim executive director on July 8.
DePaepe previously was the Director for Office of Research, Evaluation, and Assessment within the CWU College of Education and Professional Studies. He also has wide-ranging knowledge of the university, having also served as director of CWU’s Center for Teaching and Learning, and as associate academic vice president and vice provost.
Half of OE, known as Central Information Solutions, involves building, maintaining, and updating a sophisticated business intelligence data mart.
“It’s an enterprise tool that is going to help us automate our annual and quarterly reports required by accrediting agencies, and the state and federal governments.” DePaepe added. “The automation will allow us to spend less time reporting and more time doing in-depth analytics.”
The goal is to have the data mart become capable of producing the myriad of dynamic web-based reports, which DePaepe referred to as “dashboards of information.” Examples include real-time head count or full-time enrollments broken down by a wide variety of variables, such as academic program, financial aid, campus, or graduates.
The analytics will be conducted by OE’s Analytics and Research arm, which involves staff members with subject-area specific expertise, such as in student services, education, business, and finance.
Dan Matthews, associate director of OE for education, has already undertaken a pilot study of CWU student retention. The purpose is to help determine the contributing factors that impact students’ ability to remain in college—such as finances, grades, credits, and most importantly when they declare a major—and at what point in a student’s academic career these events are likely to take place.
When completed, the information will help university administrators develop ways to prevent or help students overcome those obstacles.
Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 29, 2013