Q&A: data.davidson.edu Reports


How does the T&I department determine who has access to which reports?

All reports are stored inside folders on data.davidson.edu, and access to each folder is restricted to certain groups of users which typically align to different administrative offices across the college. For example, we may not want someone in Athletics to be able to view a Registrar report that contains student grade data, so the Registrar folder is limited only to users in that department. However, some reports are shared across departments, and in those cases T&I works with the owner of the report to determine who the required users are, then finds a home for that report on the server, either by adding it to an existing shared folder or creating a new one.

What’s the difference between a “paginated report” and a “Power BI Report?”

Paginated reports are interactive Microsoft reports that present well-defined data sets inside tables or visualizations, and they tend to target a specific business purpose (e.g., "I need a report that shows me each student who changed his or her major this year"). On the other hand, Power BI reports are great for exploring massive, loosely-defined data sets through a process we like to call "data discovery,” as well as combining and aggregating data from various sources through Power BI’s built-in data-modeling tools. Power BI reports also tend to have flashy visuals with lots of charts, graphs, and maps, and they can be shared across the college community through Microsoft’s cloud-based Power BI service. 

I’d like to become a report writer so I can create new reports to share on data.davidson.edu. Where do I sign up?

You’re in luck! The T&I department is looking for data-savvy volunteers who want to publish reports for their departments and pick up new and valuable skills. There’s no formal process involved: you just need to tell us you’re interested and have your supervisor or manager’s approval, and we’ll help you get started with some introductory training. We have workshops every Friday to resolve issues, go over tips and tricks, and build a strong and vibrant data community here at Davidson.

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