Frequently Asked Questions

What is a data warehouse?

A data warehouse is a database geared towards the intelligence requirements of an organization. The data warehouse integrates data from various operational systems (Datatel) and is typically loaded from these systems at regular intervals. The data warehouse contain historical information that enables analysis of performance over time. For more iformation see our reporting system diagram and our data warehouse progress report.

What is Datatel?

Datatel is an Enterprise Resource Planning software (ERP) that integrates departments and functions across an organization into one computer system. Prior to ERP organizations utilized different software solutions that did not easily communicate with each other. This created data redundancy and in some cases innacurate record keeping. ERP runs off a single database, enabling various departments to share information, communicate with each other, and develop reliable reports. ERP systems comprise function-specific modules designed to interact with the other modules, eg Student Records, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Purchasing, etc. See the WHCCD systems diagram to learn more about the WHCCD ERP system and the modules associated with it.

What are some of the ways in which data reports can be structured?

Reports need to be timely, tied to objectives, and available to people with the responsibility and ability to act on them. Data reports that show data in different ways such as tables, charts, graphs, and trends enable more people to access and understand the information. Our districts and colleges have created a standard set of report6s based on key questions and indicators identified in the planning process. Most of our reports include longitudinal data so that instructors, staff, and administrators can compare results over time. To see samples of our reports visit the WHCL Fact Book.

Why is data-driven decision making so important?

With the right data at the right time to inform about resources, enrollment trends, and student progress the college is more likely to make the right decisions. The district and college strategic planning process provides the framework for data-driven decision making. The district data warehouse is designed to aggregate and disaggregate data needed for the planning process. Download our District Strategic Plan to learn how WHCCD uses data for planning and decision making.
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