Policies and procedures

The goal of institutional reporting is to deliver accurate and engaging reports to consumers of university data at all levels. These users can range from executives, faculty and staff, students and external entities. Through a combination of technology, training and user interaction, it is our goal to usher in a new era of data-driven decision making in areas that may have previously been neglected at the University.

This document will provide a summary of our plans in the following areas:

  • Current technology and tools
  • Planned technology change.
  • Source systems
  • Development life cycle
  • Report request
  • Report design
  • Training

The Office of Decision Support (ODS) will also work closely with the University Data Governance Committee to update this document where necessary to reflect the needs of University data owners and stewards.

Pre-Decision Support reporting tools

Initial review of the report authoring tools used from the offices of Institutional Analysis, Budget and Scheduling Services indicate the following applications in use:

  • Power BI (Professional)
  • Workday
  • Ad Astra (v,
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel

Consolidated reporting tools

The following tools will be used moving forward for data mentioned above.

  • Power BI / Power BI Report Server (Premium)
  • Anaplan
  • Ad Astra (v. 8.0 – Cloud)

This will eliminate the use of both Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel as delivery vehicles for institutional reporting. Standard/static reports will be distributed via email, or viewable in a browser, while dynamic and ad-hoc reporting will be delivered on the web via the user’s preferred browser, or via mobile app (where available).

Source Systems

A 2018 review of software applications in use on campus, conducted as part of the initial rollout of data governance initiatives, identified 190 systems used across various departments on campus for collecting, storing or processing data (appendix A). Of these, 134 applications have been identified as the recognized system of record for data within these applications. ODS will work with the University Data Government committee to prioritize areas where business intelligence and standard reporting may best benefit the campus community.

Source Systems

Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions
Raiser's Edge NXT
infoED Global

Enterprise Data Warehouse

ODS Tools/Output

B.I. Tools

Power BI

Interactive Reports/Dashboards

Standard/static reports
Ad hoc reporting

Interactive Reports/Dashboards

Standard/static reports
Ad hoc reporting

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) will be responsible for the creation of Extract, Transform and Load processes to handle the data and merge source systems within the Oracle data warehouse. Once complete, these data will be available to ODS for use in institutional reporting.

As shown above, reporting will be done in three different ways:

  • Dynamic Reports and Dashboards. Developed within the BI tool for user consumption via web or mobile device.
  • Static Reports. Standard, non-changing reports generally delivered by email or browser.
  • Ad-Hoc reporting. User self-service reporting done against the ODS data source.

Report Development Life Cycle

The report development life cycle can be broken into the following steps:

  1. Report Request. User submits a report request via ODS website using TeamDynamix.
  2. Request Evaluation. Request is evaluated to determine if a suitable report already exists in the ODS catalog.
  3. Report Design. In instances where an acceptable report cannot be found to satisfy the demand of the request, a report design consultation will be undertaken to determine if a current report can be modified to meet the needs of the requestor, or whether a new report will be required. In the case of a new report, ODS will consult with the requestor to determine the acceptable layout and design considerations to be included within the report.
  4. Data review. ODS will determine whether the requested data exists within the report dataset. If the data exists in the report dataset, ODS will undertake the design using the appropriate data. In the event that the report dataset does not include the requested data, ODS will submit the new data request to the Data Governance Committee for review and approval. Upon approval, ODS will submit the request for new data to OIT for inclusion in the report dataset. Once the data has been added to the report dataset, ODS will proceed to the design phase for the report request.
  5. User Acceptance Testing. Once complete, ODS will submit the report to the requestor for User Acceptance Testing (UAT). If issues with the design or output are reported during UAT, ODS will work with the requestor to ensure that the proper fields/formatting/data are in place. Once UAT has completed, ODS will publish the report to the report server.
  6. Data Governance Approval. After publication, ODS will consult with the data governance committee to address access standards for the completed report. DGC will recommend security based on report output, audience and scope.
  7. Final Publication. Following data governance acceptance, ODS will apply the appropriate security roles to the report and inform those users in the target audience that the report is now available on the reporting platform.

Report Request

Report requests will be handled via the ODS website (URL to be determined upon completion). All request will be submitted and tracked using an application developed in-house by ODS using Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow (included in the University’s license for Office 365), via a workflow developed by ODS. Both new report and change requests will be handled using the same method for ease of ticket tracking to ensure that report requests are not lost or orphaned after the request has been submitted.

Changes to the warehouse data will be submitted to OIT using a method they have deemed appropriate (via TeamDynamix, email, etc.) ODS will submit these requests following OIT guidelines. Updates to all requests will be submitted back to the requestor using our custom application to ensure a historical record of report requests and approvals.


ODS will provide training to end-users in a variety of ways. These methods may include face-to-face instruction and demonstration, classroom sessions, online tutorials/videos and user-group meetings. Additionally, personalized one-on-one instruction will be made available when necessary and as time permits.