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Decision Support Project Overview

The Decision Support project has been designed to modernize the data ecosystem at UMD and the accompanying centrally deployed and supported tools used for reporting and data extraction. Maryland’s ecosystem was developed more than 15 years ago and must now be replaced. In some cases, the replacement is necessary because the existing tools are no longer supported by the vendors (e.g., Profiles and Hyperion). In other cases, the replacement is necessary because the architecture has become unwieldy and brittle (e.g., Data Warehouse, reporting tools).

The major workstreams of the ecosystem are:

Executive Reporting:

This addresses the need to replace Profiles, along with selected WOW reports, and to develop dashboards appropriate for executive reporting to address frequently asked and recurring questions. The tool chosen for this work is Tableau.

Over the past year, reports.umd.edu has become a portal for reporting on the University of Maryland. The site will now replace IRPA’s Profiles as your location for campus reporting. All campus employees have access to aggregate reports on topics such as Admissions, Courses, Degrees, Employees, Enrollments, Resources, and Student Success. New reports and content areas will be added on an ongoing basis.

Ad Hoc Reporting and Extracts:

This addresses the need to replace out-of-date extraction and reporting tools such as the Warehouse on the Web (WOW) and desktop Hyperion that are currently used to generate tabular reports and to extract data sets (e.g., lists of students). A suite of SAS products has been procured for this effort.

Data Modernization:

This involves moving from a campus-based set of Oracle warehouses (Current and Frozen) into a single, cloud-based warehouse. This will modernize the architecture and enable implementation of new data policies aimed at providing additional data access to appropriate campus users.

Data Documentation:

This work engages campus Data Stewards and Data Managers in documentation of existing data, including identification of data sources and the relationships between data elements. This effort will enhance the campus’ ability to integrate data across systems and, eventually, will be useful in new system implementation. A new tool, Data Docs (datadocs.umd.edu), has been developed for this purpose.


During Fall 2018 the DSS project accomplished the following:

  • Conducted training and an ad hoc querying pilot using SAS Enterprise Guide
  • Installed and configured SAS Visual Analytics in the QA environment
  • Prepared for SAS Visual Analytics pilot activities
  • Upgraded Tableau Server to version 2018.2
  • Deployed new reports on Minor Enrollments and Minor Awards to reports.umd.edu
  • Updated all existing reports to reflect FY 2018 and Fall 2018 data
  • Updated methodology for unduplicating records in employee reports
  • Continued progress on first iteration of employee and student data models including logical models, data profiling, data definitions, data quality checks, and initial business requirements approved or near approval
  • Continued to populate definitions in Data Docs. Currently there are 231 element definitions, 8 data sets definitions, and 71 report definitions in Data Docs.

During Spring 2019 the team will continue to work on:

  • Expanding SAS pilot initiatives
  • Deploying Tableau-based operational reports for the Grad School as well as additional campus trend reports
  • Deploying initial student and employee data in the new data warehouse environment
  • Installing and configuring SAS Visual Analytics in the production environment

Past Accomplishments

Summer 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

Campus Mall side view