UTSA Interactive Dashboard

Interactive Microsoft Power BI Web Dashboards
Fikrewold Bitew and Elizabeth Hoff, Institutional Research Analysts, and Steve Wilkerson, Associate Vice Provost
The University of Texas at San Antonio

The IR office at UTSA has typically made institutional data available for internal and external audiences by publishing static, PDF versions of the fact book and individual college and department profiles. During the past year, we have transformed our website by creating a Dashboards page (pictured below), consisting of several self-service, interactive custom reports using the relatively inexpensive Microsoft Power BI software.

To ensure that the new Dashboards page was easy to navigate, we categorized each report by content area (i.e., student data, faculty and staff data, or other data) and incorporated headings linking to reports exclusively related to the selected content area.

View interactive main dashboard

View interactive dashboard for degrees awarded

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Similar to Tableau, reports designed with Microsoft Power BI allow the user to filter each dashboard by their desired parameters and to generate specialized views. To facilitate the user experience, we designed each report to include definitions and descriptions of data sources discreetly at the bottom of the page.

As an example, our Degrees Awarded dashboard, presented below, enables the user to obtain data on degrees awarded over the past 10 years according to student race/ethnicity and gender. The user can also filter and customize the report based on degree level, college, department, and program.

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This information is based on the Banner Degrees Awarded table and the student demographic table at the time the file was run and is subject to changes. The College information is based on the current College Structure and the data is provided for the full academic year from fall (FL) to summer (SU). For questions on this report, please contact the Office if Institutional Research at (210) 458-4706 or institutional.research@utsa.edu.

The Degrees Awarded dashboard provides quick insights into program-level performance trends. For instance, when we filter the report to show only degrees awarded at the level of “Bachelors,” from the College of “Business” and the Department of “Accounting,” visual inspection easily reveals that the number of degrees awarded in accounting has increased steadily since the 2009-2010 academic year, except for a slight drop observed in 2013-14.

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An additional advantage of Microsoft Power BI dashboards is their adaptability for future use and easy integration with common data sources. If new data is added to the underlying data source, the full report can be updated using the Refresh button in the Microsoft Power BI Desktop application. 

We have found these Microsoft Power BI dashboards and their synthesized presentation on our website very useful in enabling users both internal and external to the university to quickly and easily access a wide variety of visually appealing institutional data and to customize the reports to their individual data needs.

 

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Total Comments: 1
 
Michael posted on 5/11/2017 3:31 PM
I have looked at power BI as a possible low cost solution. I like your implementation but have two questions.
Does it meet the current accessibility for ADA?
Does it scale for mobile devices?