Decision Support

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Integrating the primary data functions of the campus into one office, the Office of Decision Support is responsible for supporting the University leadership in its commitment to accountability and evidence-based decision making. By bringing together the interrelated areas of Institutional Analysis and Planning, Data Governance, Data Warehousing, and Business Intelligence (BI), the office provides a comprehensive foundation for data collection, integration, analysis, and reporting.

As part of a strategic effort to promote data‐informed decisions and to facilitate linkages among goals and performance measures at the all levels of the university, UNLV is investing in the development of an integrated, enterprise data warehouse and BI platforms. The central presence of the institutional analysis and data governance functions in these efforts ensures closer collaboration with the academic and business units, including co-development of information resources.

The Oracle Campus Solutions EPM (data warehouse) and OBIEE (business intelligence) products are, in combination, the most powerful platform for providing information for decision support and application services at UNLV. These tools are being developed to collect, structure, analyze, and present data from enterprise systems (Student, HR, and Finance), as well as non‐enterprise systems. The product of these efforts is the delivery of timely dashboards and reports for campus executives, business managers, department chairs, and others across the institution who want to monitor the adoption of strategic initiatives and manage daily operations. Development efforts are guided by the following principles:

  • A culture of data-driven decisions, actions and outcomes;
  • Open access by campus users while maintaining necessary security;
  • University‐wide information delivery solutions that can be leveraged by academic and business units, and support all levels of users;
  • An environment that includes enterprise and non-enterprise data;
  • Self‐service emphasis and distributed development efforts to support the specialized
  • needs of different functional units;
  • Centralized training and data dictionary to support access and adoption.

An emphasis on self-service BI and distributed development will allow units with the expertise to
deploy their own applications, tailored to their business requirements and with more control over
the development timetable. Institutions that have used this model report that the decision‐makers are more likely to be data‐driven when they have a greater level of creation and management responsibility for reports. This approach also increases the reporting capacity of the institution.