Data Made Easy! The Dashboard Project
During academic year 2011-2012, the team of the now retired action project, "It's All about DAT!" developed nine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The team recognized a need to locate the KPIs in a database that would be easy to access and to manipulate. As a result, this current action project was born. WSCC will develop a dashboard to store and visually display academic, workforce, enrollment, financial, and other reports, which we will use to provide evidence of student and institutional trends, progress, and success, demonstrating that we are meeting or exceeding identified benchmarks (AQIP Category Seven: Measuring Effectiveness).
Reasons for Project
The reason for the action project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of Washington State programs and to have a place to load, study, manipulate, and retrieve data. This project addresses, also, the 2010 Systems Portfolio recommended action to make connections between and to integrate, where possible, our many data collections.
Organizational Areas Affected
WSCC will call on the resources of the Data Action Team (DAT), academic affairs, business office, IT, MIS, and student services to compile data and build a dashboard from design to function. Enrollment, financial aid, and student learning are the primary areas for which data will be collected.
Key Organizational Process(es)
The data will be helpful, especially when measuring student mastery of course and general education outcomes. Abstraction of data will assist with writing program reviews and accreditation reports. We will be better able to enhance our data-informed decision making processes as data will be available to all shareholders and be in a format that enables them to make informed decisions. This data will serve as a resource for another current Action Project, "Counting All Students: Tracking Attendance for College-Wide Impact," addressing, in part, financial aid default rates.
Project Time Frame Rationale
The college has commissioned someone to design the dashboard during the fall 2012 semester. Existing data is being stored in a temporary location. The team will transfer the data to the dashboard during the spring 2013 semester and thereafter.
Project Success Monitoring
The Data Action Team will work with department heads to insure the timely submission of reports, adhering to identified timelines. The Continuous Improvement Team will meet monthly in support of the DAT to identify needed data and review and evaluate, when appropriate, data collections. A full-time faculty member has been given release time to oversee general education assessment as it relates to the review and improvement of courses and programs. This faculty will coordinate with faculty across divisions to insure the timely and thorough submission of student learning and general education outcomes measures.
Project Outcome Measures
We will measure the success of our outcomes by the number and percentage of reports submitted by due dates, the proper identification and filing of reports, the timely and systematic review and evaluation of data and its use for continuous quality improvement of the college. We will recognize, also, the project to have been effective by how well data was shared through the new dashboard.
Annual Update - Project Accomplishments and Status
During the 2011-2012 academic year our Data Action Team (DAT) met on several occasions to develop appropriate institutional key performance indicators (KPI). Nine indicators were developed covering all aspects of the college's operations.
To make best use of the available data, a Key Performance Indicator Dashboard project was initiated, with the goal of making our KPI data and longitudinal reports available to all college staff and faculty. During the 2012-2013 academic year an internal website located at kpi.wscc.edu was developed to host this information.
Late in the school year, an interactive reporting feature was added to allow individuals to run custom reports. The Dashboard project has been presented at several meetings (Executive Cabinet, President's [extended] Cabinet, and Board of Trustees) to encourage its use by staff and faculty. It has been utilized as a data tool by most of our AQIP committees in preparing our Systems Portfolio. A system has been implemented to provide updates for each indicator on a semester or annual basis as appropriate. Though we will retire this Action Project, we will continue to adjust our KPI dashboard to meet the data needs of our College.
The KPI Dashboard project has been completed using entirely in-house resources. Each of the academic divisions as well as staff from Student Affairs and Records was instrumental in collecting data for this project. The Management Information Systems department provided longitudinal data for many of the indicators and assisted in defining the reports that would accurately reflect the required data. An adjunct faculty member for the Digital Technology and Web Programming department developed the internal website and custom reporting tool.
Our next steps will consist of:
- developing further custom reporting features for our dashboard
- continuing to update all data on an appropriate basis to ensure accurate reporting
- continuing to encourage the use of the dashboard by staff and faculty for reporting purposes
- moving from manual updates to dynamic/automated updates
- adding KPIs relevant to Ohio's new funding formula, which are linked to student success points
Resulting Effective Practices
Providing a centralized repository of this type of institutional data has had many benefits. Prior to the implementation of this project, many of these data points were scattered around various departments and it was difficult for any one person to obtain the necessary information. After implementation, any staff or faculty member can now access longitudinal data reports regarding these key performance indicators.
Develop systematic processes for college-wide use of data in making more fully informed decisions, focusing on continuous quality improvement.