• Banner is a comprehensive and integrated information system made up of Finance, Human Resource, Student, Alumni, and Financial Aid modules. The finance module is used to record financial transactions that result from activity at the university. It stores transaction data in an Oracle relational database, and users view the information using a web based self-service system.

Blackboard Analytics (BbA)

  • Data warehousing and analytics system that comes with robust data models, reports and dashboards.  At Drake the Blackboard Analytics product is called “blueCube.”

Business Intelligence (BI)

  • An umbrella term for the processes and tools used for turning data into information that can be used in making decisions. Originally the term referred primarily to reporting, but currently business intelligence also encompasses other processes: ad hoc querying, online analytical processing, data mining, forecasting, and other decision support systems. Elements of a business intelligence system include understanding customer needs and then gathering, analyzing and providing access to data. Used commercially, the term refers to software used to analyze and present data. At Drake University, running a query against the blueCube is an example of a business intelligence activity and Microsoft products (Excel, Access, Reporting Services), ProClarity, and dashboards are examples of business intelligence software.

Business process/rule

  • A process that is owned and carried out by the business/unit. They are based on reporting requirements and good business practices that promote data integrity and data security.


  • A graphical representation of particular data or metrics of performance. Dashboard images may be updated in real-time, and can also be included in management reports and web pages. Dashboards can be used to support high level decision-making and as a snapshot of point-in-time performance.


  • Individual facts, statistics, or items of information

Data Dictionary

  • The data dictionary gives definitions for the tables in the Data Warehouse as well as column names and descriptions, table keys, and sample valid values. The data dictionary is useful for learning more about a specific table or column.

Data Warehouse

  • A data warehouse is one or more databases designed to support management, analysis, reporting and decision making in an organization. Data from the operational systems (such as DUSIS) are migrated to the data warehouse so that queries can be performed without disturbing the performance or the stability of the operational systems. The traditional features of a data warehouse are: subject-oriented, integrated across subject areas, and time-oriented, i.e., there is a historical perspective to the data. A data warehouse generally contains both detailed data and may also contain summarized data. What is included in a data warehouse environment varies widely but is generally acknowledged to be the database(s), documentation about the data (metadata), a delivery/access method and a commitment to extract, transform and load (ETL) data from multiple source systems.


  • A general category of data, such as time, product, or geography. In terms of data analysis, is the “by” portion of a statement. For example, if you were analyzing the number of students by campus, by college, by major concentration, by credit hours, by gender, each of these qualifiers would represent a dimension. blueCube and the business intelligence tools allows for analyzing the data in this multi-dimensional way.


  • Uses Banner to retain, apply, and optimize relationship data transactions and provide easy access to information. Contains information for students, faculty, staff, alumni, human resources, finance, financial aid, payroll, institutional advancement, and admissions.  MyDUSIS is the self-service portion of DUSIS and is accessible to all University constituents to update and manage information about themselves according to their role at Drake.


  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the name that describes a single vendor software suite that integrates Business and Finance, Human Resources and Payroll, and Student Systems applications for use across the enterprise.  Drake’s ERP is Sungardhe’s Banner product.


  • The abbreviation used for Extract Transform and Load. A set of software applications that can be programmed to read and copy data from source computer files into a data staging area for further work (extract), modify, clean or reorganize the data (transform) and move it into an Enterprise Data Warehouse (blueCube) in either a bulk or an incremental fashion (load).


  • FERPA, or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, is a part of the Educational Amendments of 1974, P.L. 93-380 that became effective November 19, 1974 and has been updated several times since. This act provides that federal funding will be withheld from any higher educational institution which denies a student the right to inspect and challenge the content of the student’s cumulative record. In addition, the act imposes substantial restrictions upon access by others to a student’s record without the student’s written consent.


  • A means of putting into practice an item of data within a file. It can be in character, date, number or other format, and be optional or mandatory.


  • Knowledge gained through study, communication, research, instruction, etc.; factual data


  • Key Performance Indicator.  A Metric that is used to help manage a Process, Service or Activity. Many Metrics may be measured, but only the most important of these are defined as KPIs and used to actively manage and report on the Process, Service or Activity. KPIs should be selected to ensure that Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Cost Effectiveness are all managed.


  • A “measure” or “fact” is simply the item being counted by the cube.  For example, the “number of students” is the measure or fact being analyzed by the cube.


  • Metadata is information about the data warehouse, including technical, human and data resources.

OLAP cubes

  • A “cube” or data cube is an advanced tool for data analysis that provides fast and easy data manipulation from multiple perspectives. The cube provides a visual representation of a three-dimensional data structure. However, the true nature of a data cube is multi-dimensional; it is not limited to three dimensions.  “OLAP” is an acronym for On-Line Analytical Processing.


  • This web-based software provides access to data in the data warehouse.  Through ProClarity data can be quickly organized into longitudinal trend reports, cross tabulations or other formats useful in analysis and decision-making.


  • A specification of a result to be calculated from a database.


  • A Microsoft product that allows the sharing of ideas and expertise through an integrated platform.  Can include file sharing, portal platform, content creation, and workflow management.


  • An acronym for Structured Query Language. Structured Query Language (SQL) is the internationally accepted standard for relational systems, covering not only query but also data definition, manipulation, security and some aspects of referential integrity.   It is common to hear this pronounced as “sequel” as a shortcut for saying “SQL.”


  • A view of data, which may be used on a relational database management system, defined by one or more columns of data and a primary key. A table would be populated by rows of data.

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