The Cooperative Open Reporting Environment (CORE) Initiative kicked off in May 2013, establishing a new way of working at Oregon State University. The guiding principle was the development of a university-wide reporting environment that supports the University strategic plan and operations.

With data being identified as a strategic asset of the University, it was imperative data be available, true and actionable. The multi-year information initiative set forward to improve access to current and accurate data needed to inform university planning and initiatives, and to understand outcomes and progress toward goals. The undertaking was large and some doubted it was surmountable; shifting the way of thinking about data access. The system design was to be based on the needs of and input from the user community, and informed by best practices in analytics and business intelligence.

Goals for the CORE Initiative:

  • Provide university-wide tools and data that give members of the university immediate access to information that allows informed decisions, planning and actions.
  • Promote an environment of open access to data and information while ensuring the security of confidential or proprietary information.
  • Create a single truth: Establish data standards and definitions to apply to a central database, so all parts of the University are using the same references.
  • Create a culture of data stewardship in all parts of the University, rather than data ownership. Records Custodians maintain the quality and integrity of data but encourage its use by anyone in the community who needs information based on that data for their work.
  • Encourage cross-unit solutions, partnerships, and tools to connect disparate sources and uses of information across campus.

The Initiative defined the elements for new ways of working at OSU. With multiple data sources maintained across the institution, access to and integration of data had to become the norm. A culture of trust was necessary for opening access to university data along with an expectation of appropriate care and usage. Data custodians had to be responsible for data accuracy and policies and practices that permitted open access while protecting highly sensitive data. The investment in a common data warehouse and reporting system minimized the need and in some cases eliminated the need for departmental data retrieval systems and time required to hand-compile target reports. All of these elements have and continue to drive the University toward a single version of correct data.

OSU Community Presentation - May 9, 2013

CORE Initiative Presentation (runtime 20:15)

CORE Initiative co-chairs, Senior Vice Provost Becky Warner and Vice Provost Lois Brooks, explain the purpose of the initiative (approximately 5 minutes) and Michael Hansen delivers a presentation illustrating the issues with data and reporting at OSU, and discusses the planned solutions in more depth (approximately 20 minutes).