During fiscal year 2013-14, UNCG served as one of three Phase 1 pilots for the UNC Student Data Mart (SDM), which collects selected student data from all UNC campuses into a database housed at UNC General Administration. This data is used for standard reporting (replacing multiple periodic campus submissions prepared by Institutional Research Offices) as well as responding to ad hoc data queries from the UNC Board of Governors, legislative bodies, state regulatory bodies, and other parties.
Based on UNCG’s experience with the UNC Human Resources Data Mart (HDRM), which was created and built over the last two years, a recommendation to the UNC-GA Student Data Mart team was proposed and adopted. This resulted in the project leadership surfacing differences in how Banner was used across campuses at an early stage of the project, avoiding projects delays based on the rework that was necessitated during the HRDM project by late discovery.
Because UNCG has been operating with Banner as its student system for 15 years, it is in the unique position (compared to other UNC institutions) of having a large volume of student data. This allowed UNCG to recommend querying approach alternatives which proved to be much more efficient with large amounts of data than the approach originally planned. Adoption of this approach will benefit the UNC system to a greater degree as the cumulative data volume increases over successive years.
UNCG also recommended to UNC-GA use of an existing feature within Banner –the Supplemental Data Engine—which has been used by UNCG but not by other UNC institutions. This feature allows the creation of data fields to store pieces of data for which there is no “natural home” within baseline Banner but which are required for the efficient operating of the UNC Student Data Mart. The SDE method has a lower total cost of ownership than purely custom methods.