Fostering a Data-Oriented Culture

min read

At the University of California, Irvine, a data-driven transformation is fostering a collaborative environment for informed decision-making. With high adoption rates and a collaborative spirit, the Compass Initiative leverages millions of data points to guide students toward success.

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Tom Andriola
Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Data
University of California, Irvine

Patty Morales
Vice Provost for Enrollment Management
University of California, Irvine

Tom Andriola: To get someone to change how they've done things for the last 15 years that they've been here, and to start using data and using the tools is about building a partnership between those on the front lines and the people who understand the data and how analytics could make a difference. And that partnership is a trusted partnership that you build over time

Narrator: At the University of California Irvine. Transforming into a data oriented institution meant breaking down silos and fostering an enterprise wide mindset by creating a collaborative environment for building data architecture and informed decision-making. UCI makes data accessible and approachable across campus, driving high user adoption and creating a culture deeply informed by data and analytics.

Tom Andriola: You think of user archetypes. There are people who are working with known questions and they know what data they need to answer those questions, and so we refer to them as they use our Explorer tools because they know the territory that they're in. Navigator is when you're dealing with, I don't quite know what the right question is yet, and the right question is also informed by what data that I could bring to bear that could create the right question and the answers that I'm trying to explore. Tapping into that curiosity. Well, that's where we came up that Explorer is when you know the questions and you know the landscape when you're not exactly sure you need a guide, right? The Navigator is the person that comes with you for the journey. And so we have this whole theme here with our student success initiative. We call it Compass, right? It's all built around kind of this seafaring type thing, so Explorers and Navigators. And so the concept is know your user types that you have in your organization and build your tools that support them in the best way, and then figure out how do you scale

Patty Morales: That. So when you're starting, what you're doing is working with your colleagues and your stakeholders to say, what do you wish you knew? What are interesting ways that we can look at all of these elements together? We are continually iterating with our colleagues. It is that interactive, collaborative. We're engaging with the folks who are using our tool. They're becoming sort of co-designers of it because they're giving us a lot of the ideas. We don't work in their spaces, so we don't necessarily think to ask the questions that they're asking and they don't necessarily know the data that we have. This is where we learn to look at things from the perspective of undergraduate education, student affairs, career pathways, grad division, all of these other spaces. And it's really, really exciting to be able to see how much more we can know when we're working together like that cliche, but it's true.

Narrator: Just as a traveler of the past may have used rock formations or rivers to help guide them in their journey. Today we use data to shape the path to student success. The Compass Initiative at uc, Irvine combines the millions of data points they collect in thousands of streams across campus and leverages that data to chart the way toward both equity and excellence for student success.