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IRAP News

UDC at a Glance: This brochure offers a snapshot of UDC statistics in an easily printable format. Click here for more info.

UDC at a Glance

To request University official data, please send your request to ir-info@udc.edu. Please include detailed specifications such as time period requested (term, fiscal year, academic year, financial aid year, etc.), required data elements, urgency of the request, purpose of the data request, etc.. Please leave your contact information in case we need some clarification on your request.

Blackboard Analytics

Blackboard AnalyticsWelcome to the University of the District of Columbia Blackboard Analytics Web Portal! Blackboard Analytics is the new reporting tool used by the Office of Institutional Research and all other business units within the university who have reporting functions. The reporting tools draw the data directly from Banner and allow the user to create ad hoc and internal reports, and analytical reports.

The links for the reporting tools do require secure access and authentication, and you will need your UDC logon ID and password to enter (your logon ID is preceded by "Firebirds\"). If you are a person with reporting functions in your unit and you do not have access, please notify the Office of Institutional Research.

What is Blackboard Analytics at UDC?
  • Is not a data warehouse; it is a very sophisticated reporting tool

  • Draws data from what exists in Banner

    • Data accuracy in Banner therefore impacts data accuracy in reporting using Blackboard Analytics

    • Lack of data dimensions/variables/elements will impact what cannot be reported

Currently, we have purchased only the Student Module, and are in the process of acquiring the Financial Aid Module

What kinds of reporting tools are there in Blackboard Analytics?

Has three different kinds of reporting tools

    • Operational, meant to guide day-to-day operations for business units; these are reports do not require interpretation, and consists of lists usually at the individual level data (therefore something that is the domain for business units and of use to them in a very direct manner; not usually an IR function, which is focused primarily on reporting in the aggregate); reporting tool in place: Reporting Services

    • Analytical, meant to intersect multiple dimensions to look at relationships between two or more variables, and can identify trends and patterns. This serves more of a tactical purpose and middle level managers can use it to identify issues and propose solutions; reporting tool in place: ProClarity

    • Strategic, meant to provide different views of key metrics for strategic decision making; similar to a person driving a car who can measure how fast they are going, how much more gas they have, and a few other information that allows them to adjust the driving if necessary; this does not require an understanding of the car engine or any other technical and mechanical pieces. Coupled with what is external to the vehicle, the driver then can decide whether the speed is legitimate or even optimal, if s/he has to navigate around other vehicles on the road, if the road curves dangerously ahead, etc.; reporting tool in place: Dashboards

Each of these web-based tools has online documentation and help within the application, but we also have technical support available if needed.

Under normal circumstances, Operational Reports are to be run by individual business units; Analytic and Strategic ones are to be run by Institutional Research.  This does not prevent anyone with a reporting function, in the business units or in IR, to run reports that goes beyond the stated scheme; but, please do note the FAQs on official dissemination.

In other words, the reporting scheme has been worked out so that the different units may carry out their necessary daily activities, for managers to troubleshoot, and for senior executives to have enhanced data-driven decision-making capacities.

What kinds of reports can be produced?

There are two types of basic reports in Blackboard Analytics, in each of the reporting tools mentioned before

Canned reports (pre-determined dimensions and cubes) that address a range of needs for key business units – from basic day-to-day operations to strategic planning; these were created with input from the business units

  • These canned reports may be modified with additional dimensions (or removing some) and may be saved as a new canned report, or simply serve a one-time use need

Ad-hoc reports, that creates a completely different report from scratch using a "structure" that is currently not available in the canned reports. These would address atypical questions and issues and are usually a very small fraction of all reports combined (particularly given the modifiability of the existing canned reports in Blackboard Analytics).

What are the Institutional Research roles and responsibilities in connection with reporting functions?
 

The Office of Institutional Research is the only official source of all reports; all reports requests and issues identified need to be brought to the attention of the Office of Institutional Research

  • The Office of Information Technology, as integral partner as it is in the entire data infrastructure, is not responsible for producing any reports; they are, however, the technical guardians of data warehousing and maintenance.

The Office of Institutional Research fulfills requests for reports – periodic or those without time-bound patterns – for both internal and external units and agencies; it also maintains a wealth of data reports and related information on its web pages. For requesting ad-hoc or customized reports, please visit the IR Data Center before making a request, on the Data Request Form, and once the request is fulfilled, please help IR track service improvements by completing the Customer Satisfaction Survey.

  • Note: the Office of Institutional Research does not have access to all institutional data at the current time (data that are managed and have propriety elsewhere are those that are housed by Human Resources, Office of Finance and the Office of Financial Aid); this does not prevent IR from coordinating reports that require the assistance and cooperation of any of those units.

The Office of Institutional Research will be organizing periodic educational sessions on Blackboard Analytics – to provide model overviews, training, and share related information.

Data Infrastructure Diagrammatic Representation

Notes

1 Functional Units consist of Marketing, Admissions and Enrollment Management, Financial Aid,
Registrar's Office, Academic Advising
2 Management Reports generated by IRAP for all Functional Units; this also includes an Academic
Productivity Report for Senior Executives
3 Cyclical Reports include Factbook, Fast Facts, IPEDS, NSSE, FSSE, BSSE, CIRP, AAUP, NCAA, etc. Internal offices include Board of Trustees, President's Office, Provost's Office, Deans' Offices,
Vice-Presidents' Offices; external agencies include City Council, US Department of Education,
NCAA, etc.

Here are some other related useful links:

Office of Institutional Research Data Center
Office of Institutional Research Data Glossary
The University of the District of Columbia Banner Data Standards
Common Education Data Standards


Here are a few FAQs that may be helpful:

Question: Who publishes official data for the University of the District of Columbia?
Answer: Institutional Research is the only source and publisher of official UDC data reports.

Question: May I still do my own internal data and analysis for operational purposes?
Answer: Yes, absolutely!

Question: May I send out those analyses to external agencies (or even to other business/functional units within the university)?
Answer: Sure; for the external agency piece, with IR's knowledge of such dissemination; for all disseminations, with a disclaimer that such reports are not to be considered official university data

Question: What if I wanted to share internal data to university and external constituencies and have it counted as "official"?
Answer: Please get IR's "stamp of approval"

This page will evolve and will be edited based on comments from you. Please send your comments to:

Office of Institutional Research The University of the District of Columbia
4200 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: 202.274.5012
Email: IR-Info@udc.edu