As mentioned in prior posts, Institutional Research and Decision Support (IRDS) has worked diligently over the last 2 years on the implementation of the institution’s Data Warehouse (DWH). Our ongoing partnership with HelioCampus helps us advance those efforts more quickly than we could achieve on our own. In year one of the partnership, we created the infrastructure of the DWH in Amazon Redshift. Below is a simplified view of the warehouse schema.

DWH schema


The first tool that we rolled out for the campus in year one was the Student Lifecycle (available to authorized BSU users at . This is a suite of analysis dashboards that cover admissions, enrollment, retention/graduation, and completions (the full lifecycle of a student). This tool has been made accessible to nearly 200 members of BSU’s staff, including most of the leadership. This has made it possible for administrators to see nearly real-time data to help them understand the trends present at the overall institution level as well as for colleges, departments and majors.

“Every user is trained by IRDS and we offer monthly ongoing training in data literacy as well as an open forum for user questions and discussions.” explains Michael Lane, the Associate Vice President of IRDS. Below is a picture that contains a thumbnail of all the current dashboards in the Student Lifecycle.



Out of all the Lifecycle dashboards the most used visual, to date, is our enrollment trend dashboard. This dashboard shows Tableau users a 10-year view of enrollment and it can be filtered in numerous ways to allow for a great deal of flexibility exploring multiple aspects of BSU data. Of note, this data can be disaggregated to show the changing demographic profiles of the BSU population over time. It can also be filtered all the way down to the major level to show deans, chairs and others very specific data related to their school, department or major.



All of these data systems are the reflection of a great deal of time and effort by BSU staff. The time spent working on the ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) and the ongoing data validation make this data availability possible. IT at BSU has been an outstanding partner to help make this information widely available. HelioCampus, our DWH partner, has been key in helping BSU leverage its own resources to speed up the development cycle.

In our next blog post we’ll discuss the tools we rolled out at the end of year two of our partnership with HelioCampus (August ’23). We also have posts coming on a few of the exciting things have been in development, or are completed, including data science, optimization tools, and new partnerships with people and offices around BSU. Please check back for posts on all of this!