Self-Service Fact Book Redesign

 By Jessica Steinmann, Data and Systems Analyst, Institutional Research and
Dale Amburgey, Assistant Director, Institutional Research

Over the past year, the Office of Institutional Research at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has been working on a redesign of its website for internal and external audiences. A component of this project has focused on altering the manner by which we provide university data. Historically, Embry-Riddle published a Fact Book and posted PDF files to the Institutional Research website.  Although the Fact Book files were thorough and provided a tremendous amount of data, the presentation of data was static.  Further, the data were presented in predetermined tables that the audience may or may not find useful for the questions they wished to answer.

For the new website, we wanted to create a dynamic, self-service environment for our census data that would allow the consumer to select the data they needed to answer the majority of their questions without needing to submit a request. Our solution was to create a census dashboard in Tableau that would allow our constituents to select data parameters to achieve their desired output.

One example of how we created an interactive experience for our audience was the redesign of our demographic data. In the past, the state and country of origin for each member of our student body was provided in a table.  We used the mapping capability in Tableau to combine several standalone tables into one visual. By selecting either the country or state of origin, the visual transforms to a map of the United States or the world. Then, the audience may further shape the output by selecting the residential campus(es), academic level, unique academic career, and the time series.  We are excited about the possibilities that this level of customization will provide to our audience.

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We also used Tableau’s ability to create a dynamic hierarchy to facilitate the visual display of University enrollment data. When the audience selects a specific academic level, academic career, student status, or student type, only the possible values of the selection are offered. For instance, if one were to select the Undergraduate academic level, only student statuses, types, and careers associated with that level would be displayed. Further, the data may be displayed by the respective residential campus or in a side-by-side comparison.  This functionality allows us to be more efficient with our data visualizations and to empower our audience

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