The Data Services Unit works to provide our campus partners with operational efficiency, reliability, and security. We support key campus initiatives by increasing technology-enabled business process automation, creating on-demand information access, and providing our partners with data-driven analysis and planning, among other projects. Nearly every campus system consumes or generates data and requires cross-functional collaboration with the Data Services unit.
For example, the Data Services team created and maintained automated data feeds to CASHNet that provide the necessary student, staff and faculty data for authentication, pre-populating forms, and automating workflow. The team also supports post-payment processes, such as payment reconciliation and reporting, for Student Business Services and the Early Childhood Education Center.
The team also developed data feeds for new campus applications such as Everbridge, used by the Department of Public Safety for mass alert notifications, and delivered new functionality that enables Library staff to develop and link content to specific courses in CatCourses.
UCPath Data Integration
In 2017, the Data Services team was integral to the process of preparing the UC Merced campus for the launch of UCPath. As part of the planning and implementation of the project, the team accounted for and built more than 50 separate data pipelines for integration into the new platform.
For more information about the UCPath project and the Data Services teamâs efforts, see the UCPath section of this report.
& Decision Support
A key effort this year was the support we provided to enable the integration of an Enrollment Management predictive modeling tool.
This tool will allow Institutional Research to forecast things like estimated time-to-degree for various student groups and other data modeling that helps IRDS inform and support the UC Merced mission.
Standardized Data Request Processes
This year we worked to standardize our processes and policies related to requests for protected data such as requests for student data, and to insure data access is properly approved.
This follows privacy and security best practices, works in concert with UC Path (which restricts access to some institutional data more stringently), and provides an audit trail as requests are now routed through an online
When the campus data warehouse initiative is approved and funded, a well-formed Operational Data Store (ODS)—which will hold transactional data from a number of sources—will be essential.
In 2017, the Data Services
team has worked to optimize the ODS environment by remediating the database server configurations to reduce data errors, developing improved logging processes to increase fault tolerance and reliability, conducting a health check of the entire system.
In 2017, Data Services team has created or updated over 100 reports through Cognos, enabling information on demand for various campus constituents.
Over the past year, Data Services decommissioned a system that had been used to move information to the Office of the President, a necessary step as OIT introduces more secure and scalable technologies and solutions for data storage and movement.
In 2018, the Data Services and Enterprise Applications teams will utilize APIs to connect data sources for general campus needs such as FAU validation, supervisor lookup, and employee/student information.
In so doing, they will create secure, passive services designed to be consumed by a variety of application platforms across the enterprise—providing consistent, rich data that will enhance a variety of services and serve a variety of campus groups.