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College Information Services (CIS)

The Office of College Information Services is the centralized, institutional support area responsible for data warehousing, data integrity and management, and business intelligence and analytic reporting.

Areas of Responsibility

CIS is responsible for the:

  • Management of a data warehouse with appropriate metadata architecture and documentation
  • Establishment and enforcement of usage rules and security
  • Collaboration with users including but not limited t:
    • Evaluation of users' needs and abilities tprovide appropriate reporting solutions and ensure purchase of appropriate data access tools
    • Initial and continuous training of supported tools
    • Continuous needs-analysis sthat sample views and queries can be built tmeet the users' needs
  • Establishment of data architecture standards for the College campus and coordinating inclusion of non-ERP and newly developed databases intthe main data warehouse.
  • Collaboration with executive administration tdevelop an executive management system.
  • Establishment of data integrity standards tensure proper data entry and population
  • Provide training sthat all levels of users have a full understanding of the responsibilities of being a data steward as it relates tthe College's internal regulations and those mandated by the State of S.C. and U.S. governments (IRB, CHE, FERPA, etc.)

Why CIS?

The College of Charleston organization has struggled for years with legacy mainframe systems that da good job of one thing – capturing and storing transaction data – and da poor job of giving users the ability taccess that data or organize extracts intusable data marts. Our legacy mainframe system alshas security loopholes and nonexistent metadata with makes use and misuse of the data possible. The end results have been piecemeal systems established by various levels of campus users that prevent the College's faculty and administration from using the vast amounts of data properly and efficiently in order tmake informed business and research decisions and conclusions. The limitations have resulted in:

  • Difficult data extraction processes – Only certain "power" users on campus have the access and knowledge trun processes. Resulting data extracts are usually created with nmetadata that could be used tassist users in handling and understanding the data. Because of the difficulty and time constraints in creating and storing extracts, periodic and cyclical data mart captures have not been written.
  • Inconsistency in data extraction and reporting timing – Without periodic standardized data extracts, users create files at inconsistent times with varying methods and conflicting usage rules.
  • Duplication of effort spent with data validation –Users with access tdata may create reports or analyses that are questioned when distributed. At that point, several other programmers or data analysts are then asked tstep in and evaluate "what went wrong."
  • Unsecured data access methods – The current SCT system does not allow for table-level security for users with access trun data extract queries. Therefore, users whmay be limited tuse/view certain data in the transaction system, could alternatively still access data that they should not have access tsee by using the current processes trun extracts, namely FOCUS and CONNX.
  • Inflexible data access tools - Current data access tools have been purchased by non-IT areas without evaluative processes tdetermine future usefulness and compatibility. Among the 3 tools available (SAS EG, FOCUS, and CONNX), users will simply use which product is easiest for them and which one provides the most flexibility for all their reporting needs.
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