About DSI

Taking the guesswork out of major decisions

At every major university, there are always pivotal decisions to be made, especially when setting the course for a bright future. To make these decisions, decision makers need access to timely, relevant, and accurate information.  

Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. The trouble with running a large university is that key decision makers are often dealing with too much data, in too many formats, in too many places to be useful. They might not even know where to find all of this data, or that it even exists.

Our solution: The Decision Support Initiative (DSI)

DSI is about data-informed decision making. We gather up the data, standardize it, and help decision makers visualize it so that important decisions are much more than just a good guess.

Through DSI, we will help IU achieve the Bicentennial Strategic Plan's eight priorities.

The mission: Timely, relevant, accurate data

The mission of this project is to provide timely, relevant, accurate data to facilitate better decision making. To accomplish this we will need to take a fresh look at what we do today, look towards the future, embrace change, and architect in a way that facilitates these goals. The scope of this work encompasses all facets of how we deliver, work with, and support information for decision-making at IU, from technical architecture to cultural support, from tool sets to development processes.

This is not specifically an IT project. DSI was designed to foster collaboration and cultural change in support of better decision making.  Since DSI is about using data to make more informed decisions, we will be using IT resources as a catalyst for change. However, success will be measured not by IT deliverables, but by better decisions made.

How we do it

DSI is a very ambitious project to dramatically enhance information for decision support across the university.  The traditional approach to systems development, with its high coordination costs between functional experts and system developers and lengthy build times, simply won't work. 

Agile BI

To accomplish as much as possible, we use Agile BI. The Agile BI methodology focuses on providing new functionality to customers sooner than the traditional process, which delivers only the final product.  With Agile BI, the requirements and design phases overlap with development, making for faster delivery.

Cultural change

Additionally, DSI will necessitate rethinking who owns data and under what terms it can be accessed. We cannot be successful without rethinking policy-compliant ways to access and appropriately use data that span functional areas, schools, and campuses.