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Colorado State University—also referred to as Colorado State and CSU—is a public research university located in Fort Collins, Colorado. It is the state’s land grant university, and the flagship of the Colorado State University System. Colorado State was founded in 1870 and has approximately 30,000 students.
The university’s Office of Institutional Research (IR) is a service office for the University community, primarily serving the executive leadership team. Its mission is to support strategic planning and continuous quality improvement at the institution. That mission is accomplished by collecting, maintaining, and preserving institutional data; providing data analysis to inform executive decision-making and strategic initiatives; and serving as the official reporting office for the institution.
Previously, the majority of reports on the IR Website were posted in PDF format and produced by Oracle Reports. Many university officials requested reports in Excel, or asked for minor variations to the reports, but these modifications were typically very labor intensive. Further, many reports in the legacy system did not provide graphs or charts, which administrators rely on to make decisions.
To give administrators more flexibility for their reports, Colorado State University implemented Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher 11g, running on Oracle Database 11g. Since the implementation, IR can more quickly respond to mandated reporting demands and ad hoc requests from executive leadership and others on campus. Further, end users can go into the Web-enabled system and set parameters—such as dates and demographics—to get variations of the reports to meet their specific needs. Users can then export reports to a variety of familiar formats, including Excel and PDF, allowing administrators to perform their own calculations as necessary. Additionally, Oracle Business Intelligence Publisher 11g provides interactive tables and graphs, enabling administrators to make more informed decisions.
IR has received positive reviews from the campus community on the new interface and has seen a dramatic increase in how often the official data is accessed through its Website. Specifically, the new tool was accessed 823 times during December 2011 and January 2012—a 60% increase over the same time period the previous year—and report total page views have increased 111% since implementation.
Colorado State finalized installation of the tool in May 2011, and completed its first deployment in November 2011. The university worked with Oracle Partner ExitCertified to train the developers.