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Extra, Extra!         
Edition: February 2017
 

Hello and welcome to CeDAR News!  The new year has certainly found its feet and CeDAR is on the move with up and coming projects and trainings.  The Tableau server has been upgraded, we’ve successfully kicked off our ‘Raising the Bar’ and ‘Fanalytics’ sessions, we’ve made some headway with the IGC, and before you know it, we’ll be rolling out new training and documentation for Cognos Analytics! 
In this Edition:

Director's Corner: Buzz Words and How They Affect Us
ICG: Springing Up with New Terms
Click, Baby, Click!
CeDAR SPOTLIGHT: Internal Transfers
Cognos Analytics ... Coming Soon
Tableau: How to Create a Workbook Using a Data Source on a Refresh Schedule
I'm guessing that many of you have been bombarded in the media with terms such as cloud and big data. The questions then, for Princeton, are what do these actually mean and how do they affect us?
Simply stated, cloud refers to any application or data that is not kept “on prem”, meaning it is being hosted somewhere other than at Princeton. Gmail and Office 365 are prime examples. The notion of cloud is very appealing to many organizations since it alleviates some major concerns, such as the need for increased computing power and storage and reductions in initial capital outlay. Although Princeton has chosen to run a few applications in the cloud, most of our applications and data are stored locally. This is particularly true of the Information Warehouse and will continue to be so, at least for the immediate future. Moving to the cloud is really a business decision and, if we decide to follow that path, will take great planning and forethought.
Big data, the other buzzword, is a little more difficult to explain. “Big data is the term applied to data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time (Source:Wikipedia)”. Big data may be viewed as extremely large sets of traditional data or, more commonly, refers to unstructured data, such as Twitter feeds and Facebook logs. Organizations, primarily in the private sector, use unstructured data for marketing, sales and other commercial ventures because they provide a perfect complement to the data maintained in their corporate data warehouses. A relatively simple example might be the case of a company launching a new product and being interested in understanding how it is received in the world of social media.  While there may be some interest in collecting and managing data available from such non-traditional sources, the primary interest of CeDAR will continue to be the data found in the university’s transactional systems, using both Cognos and Tableau for reporting and analysis. There is great interest in leveraging and combining the disparate sources of data in the Warehouse, and there are a number of major projects, both planned and underway, that have this as its primary objective.
Yet, unfortunately, I don’t have a crystal ball to see exactly if and how the landscape may change. We may find that there are advantages to running the Warehouse in the cloud as the data continues to expand. We may also find that campus planning efforts may be enhanced by having a better understanding of students’ perceptions of campus dining and recreational services, for example, as evidenced by comments made on social media. There may be, in fact, a real need to integrate traditional and non-traditional data sources to get a complete picture for strategic decision making. In an article recently published in InfoWorld entitled “Is the Data Warehouse Dead?,” the authors found that 43% of the respondents to a survey stated that data warehousing and Big Data are complimentary and will continue to be so for at least the next few years. So, we’re going to keep an eye out for opportunities and monitor the environment for developments that may impact Princeton.
As always, we will try to stay current with our technology and continue to rely on our large customer base to help us make better decisions. Although a move to the “Cloud”, as an example, may be considered a technical decision, we understand that there is always a business component and, in that regard, is why we look at CeDAR’s success as being dependent on the strategic partnership we have created with our campus colleagues.
IGC - Springing Up with New Terms!
By: Liz Zodeiko
 
These past several weeks leading into Spring have been busy.  Thanks to the diligent efforts of our data stewards, representing areas such as PeopleSoft UG Admission, PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, PeopleSoft HCM, PeopleSoft Financials, Facilities, Housing Real-Estate Services, STRIPES, and Time Collection, the Information Governance Catalog (IGC) metadata content is starting to take shape.  A catalog structure has been created and is being tested.  Business terms are being defined and loaded into the individual catalogs.  The CeDAR Team is diligently constructing the production IGC instance, testing security and infrastructure. At the February Cognos-Tableau Users Group Meeting, Leah Targon demonstrated a small sampling of IGC content.  Moving forward, when a substantive amount of business terms are loaded into the IGC, the data stewards will review the content and have the opportunity to make edits and add or delete business terms.  Business terms will have a short description, long description, a definition and data security classification  - “Restricted”, “Confidential”, “Unrestricted within Princeton”, and “Publically Available” - providing valuable information about the data within the Information Warehouse.  A robust metadata catalog within the IGC will both aid and complement the anticipated Cognos upgrade this summer, providing those who are testing and writing new reports with a resource clarifying the data within the various Cognos packages.  Stay tuned as more information about the IGC is announced at the April Cognos-Tableau Users Group Meeting.
I came across something I found particularly amusing the other day as I was scrolling through a list of various “TED Talks.”  No, I am not referring to CeDAR’s own Ted Bross – (though he has been known to give some pretty good talks, himself!) … I am talking about “TED Talks” which are short presentations given by inspirational leaders in the fields of Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  This wasn’t an actual presentation/talk though --  this was a 1-minute advertisement about what can go wrong if you’re not paying close attention to analytics.  I got a chuckle out of it and thought you might, too … enjoy!
Announcing: Internal Transfers
 
As of January 1, two long-time OIT employees, Carl Segers and Sandee Steinberg, were transferred into CeDAR where they now report to Glenn Garze and continue to develop and support the University’s Interface Hub. 

Carl has been with the University for 19 years, 11 of which have been with OIT/AIS.  Since joining CeDAR, he’s been working with PeopleSoft Campus Community, specifically the Interface Hub, Identity Management, the Information Warehouse, Cognos, and Address Validation.
Carl enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, biking, camping, and vacations at the Jersey shore.


Sandee has been with the University/AIS for more than 16 years.  Since joining CeDAR, she’s been working on the Interface Hub and deploying the new ETL based Hub system to replace the old PL/SQL based feeds.
Sandee enjoys reading, taking long walks with her dog, Zumba, and doing crosswords.

 

A warm welcome to both!
By: Ted Bross

In the August issue we informed our COGNOS users that the next major release, COGNOS Analytics, is on its way. We have spent the past few months preparing for this upgrade, specifically focusing on the various infrastructure pieces that will be needed. Now, we’re ready to take the next step. We have brought the product into our “Sandbox” environment so the CeDAR staff can get a firsthand look at what has changed and what is brand new.  We have arranged for the staff to take part in professional training during the next few weeks, followed by training that we will then provide to the campus. This is all very exciting…and a bit overwhelming. 

As with all major software upgrades, there is the good, the bad and the ugly. The good is that ... Read More.
How to Create a Workbook Using a Data Source on a Refresh Schedule
By: Lauren Foss


Tableau seems to be gaining momentum here at Princeton University.  Now we’re asking ourselves how to improve on the Tableau experience.  How about having visualizations that are refreshed on a schedule?  This would remove the need to manually update and upload each viz.  Luckily, this is possible now and you might want to give it a try.
In order to have a scheduled workbook update there are a few simple steps to perform.  Read More






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