Beginning in early February, data.davidson.edu will be available across the college community. It's a new server installed with Microsoft's latest reporting and analytics technology, called "Power BI," and it will be the primary engine for Davidson's administrative and academic reporting. Furthermore, it will replace the old reports library on Inside Davidson, which means it has a direct impact on students, faculty, and staff. This brief knowledge-base article will help you understand some of the changes and what actions you should take.
What changes will I notice?
If you're a user who primarily just runs reports, most of the changes you'll notice are cosmetic, like a sleeker and more modern user interface, or the locations of some items on the screen being different. Access will be more convenient as well, because you can now get to the server by simply typing "data.davidson.edu" in your web browser's address bar.
If you're someone who develops reports for the college, the changes are much more significant. Most importantly, you now have the ability to work with the Technology & Innovation (T&I) department to build reports in Microsoft Power BI and publish them to data.davidson.edu for your users to enjoy. Power BI reports have tremendous new capabilities for data exploration and reporting that far surpass what the standard "paginated" reports can do.
Here is some further detail on the changes you'll see on data.davidson.edu:
Report folders on data.davidson.edu will appear different from those on Inside Davidson. Most folders will be exactly as they were on Inside Davidson in terms of content and user permissions, but some folders have been removed because their reports are obsolete or no longer used.
Inside Davidson folder layout (left) compared to data.davidson.edu folder layout (right)
Report parameters on Inside Davidson reports are arranged vertically on the right side of your browser window, but data.davidson.edu aligns the parameters horizontally above the report toolbar. The button to run the report whenever you change the parameters has been changed from "Apply" to "View Report." Other than that, the functionality is the same.
Inside Davidson parameters layout (right) compared to data.davidson.edu parameters layout (left)
To promote consistency across all of the data.davidson.edu reports, and to make reports easier to read and interact with, the old reports from Inside Davidson were re-styled to use fonts, colors, and college logos that are in line with Davidson's graphic identity standards.
What should I do?
The new server will be available beginning in early February 2018. For the next four weeks, you can still get to the reports library on Inside Davidson, but we encourage you to explore and get used to data.davidson.edu. Beginning March 5th, 2018, the reports library on Inside Davidson will no longer be accessible, and data.davidson.edu will be the college's primary reporting tool.
- Update your bookmarks: if your internet browsers like Chrome and Safari have any bookmarks to the Inside Davidson reports library, you should update those to go to http://data.davidson.edu from now on.
- Report subscriptions: some users get reports emailed to them from Inside Davidson on a periodic basis, like monthly/bi-weekly pay stubs, monthly budget reports, etc. These are known as report subscriptions. The new report server on data.davidson.edu has the exact same feature, and we will be moving subscriptions onto the new server throughout the month of February. You don't need to do anything for this to happen; just be mindful that you may still receive the old reports from Inside Davidson for a few weeks before the new subscriptions on data.davidson.edu take effect.