In the last few posts we outlined some of the things that happened over the course of roughly the last two years. Over the course of the next year we have a similarly full agenda with new initiatives and ongoing improvements to existing data products and processes. We are currently in the process of implementing two new analysis/analytics products that will occur over the next year.

Workforce Insights

We have just begun implementation of a new module from Heliocampus that we will be implementing over the next 4 to 6 months. It is called Workforce Insights and will greatly expand our ability to do analysis and analytics on faculty and staff trend data. This effort will also produce what we call “extracts”. These extracts are analysis-ready files that are generated using source system data and transported via an ETL process into our data warehouse to support analysis and analytics. In this way we leverage not only the delivered reports that come with these extracts but we can also create custom reporting environments tailored to the needs of BSU.


Financial Insights

In mid to late 2024 we anticipate we will be completed with Workforce Insights and can begin implementation of Financial Insights. This analysis/analytics extension of our data models will give us the ability to do a deep dive on the financials of BSU. This will include things like net tuition revenue analysis by school and department. We will be able to understand the impact of student outstanding balances and form appropriate policies to support student success. Much like Workforce Insights this tool will ultimately also provide us with an extract of data from source systems that will allow us to do custom reporting to meet BSU needs.


We are also committed to working with campus partners to form synergistic efforts that benefit multiple stakeholders. The following are the current initiatives and a brief description.

Analytics Team

This new effort is intended to leverage the ongoing training of staff who have completed the CSU Certificate Program in Student Success Analytics. This team will be asked to work on data products that will help others better understand the issues and opportunities for increased student success at Ball State.

Digital Corps

We have started to work with the Digital Corps to create infographics that can be used to support understanding of data at BSU. The Digital Corps is a great program and we look forward to expanding this working relationship in the future

Graduate Assistants

Recently IRDS has begun to redevelop the internship program that was disbanded some time ago. We have begun to take on interns again from the Graduate Certificate Program in Institutional Research at BSU. Interns from the program will get real-world experience in a fast paced IRDS operation. We also anticipate having the interns work directly with the Digital Corps on focused IRDS projects.

Explorer Program

Several departments across BSU have their own analysis and analytics capability. Our Explorer Program is meant to leverage those resources for the benefit of those departments, IRDS and BSU more generally. The Explorers are given privileged levels of access to our data warehouse, targeted training, and the ability to create new dashboards in our Tableau environment. In the process of creating new dashboards we ask the team to also help us validate fields that can then be used by everyone. This win-win program is a great way to expand our bandwidth while also allowing departments outside IRDS to leverage the data warehouse.

Admissions, Human Resources and Financial Aid

These areas of focus are currently being developed and we work consistently on a weekly basis with our colleagues in these offices to continue to refine the data sources and the ETL processes that bring that data from source systems to the data warehouse.

Data Liaisons

This new effort is intended to be for users who are data savvy but not quite as intensive as the Explorer Program. Data liaisons are asked to be point people for their department when it comes to interfacing with IRDS and the data products we have made available to the campus. Liaisons will work with us to understand the types of data we have available and the level of effort to produce new data (low, medium, hard).


In addition to the above, we will continue to further refine and operationalize our data science models. We stand ready to support several ongoing and upcoming systems implementations that will require work on our ETL processes to keep the data flowing. Our expanding data governance profile will ramp up as we seek to hire a Decision Support analyst in the office of Decision Support. Also, there is no shortage of requests to expand our data models, create more visualizations, and better support decisions across the institution. Toward that end we are also seeking to hire a BI Analyst in the office of Decision Support.