This is my final blog post, after 7 years at UNE and Australian Higher Education I’m moving on, back to the commercial world from whence I came :-0
It has been quite an adventure, particularly the last 4-ish years doing BI/DW. So I’m leaving with mixed emotions, really looking forward to the next chapter but also remembering the good times in this one.
It is therefore great to bow out with the launch today of the third of four major Student Retention initiatives involving BI/DW. So far we have:
- e-Motion – still going strong and now with v2 better than ever – check out this latest update
- Exit Poll – a new one for us this year, finding out why students drop units so we can improve our performance next time
And today we will switch on The Vibe – an interactive, moving tag-cloud of student feedback garnered through the Student Portal (the same place that e-Motion data comes from). This feedback isn’t specific to a Unit or a Course, it is general feedback and we can’t wait to hear what our students are saying.[kml_flashembed movie=”http://www.youtube.com/v/QWBcdfWDDj0″ width=”425″ height=”355″ wmode=”transparent” /]
Here’s Ed, our Student Experience Liaison Officer, in the midst of the cloud doing what he does best, serving students’ interests and helping them have the best possible university experience.
The BI/DW component for this is a new development for us and James has been busying himself with ways of optimising performance so that it sits quietly in the background. The basic process involves an ETL job that runs every 10 minutes to update the cloud based on the latest rolling set of feedback. The feedback text is parsed, noise words and naughty words removed and weightings applied. The weighted word list is then made available to a web portlet that munges them into a 3D Flash visualisation in the UI that spins around can be explored. The picture above shows our Student Liaison Offier Ed, in the midst of the cloud, I’ll post a video tomorrow if I get the chance to give you a bit more of an idea.
The final Student Retention initiative is the launch of AWE, the Automated Wellness Engine. Its something we’ve been working on for well over a year but somehow didn’t quite manage to get it finished off and promoted with everything else going on. However, the word on the street is that more funding is coming this way to finish it off and launch it later this year. Definitely one to watch.
So all that remains for me is to say a huge thank you to everyone I’ve had the pleasure to work with during my time at UNE and especially to you people, the readers and contributors, all of you at other universities and BI vendor and consulting companies and of course my BI team mates James and Jing and our new office friends in P&IR, all of whom put up with all my crazy ideas on a daily basis. I wish you all well and hope you keep the BI/DW flag flying high for many years to come – and keep using those white boards!
Take it easy,