About BI Analytics

Business Intelligence (BI) Analytics goes beyond reporting to an advanced level of interaction with information, using more sophisticated techniques and tools. Learn more about these approaches here. Be sure to revisit as we expand this information.

OLAP Cubes

About Cubes
A "cube" or data cube is an advanced tool for data analysis that provides fast and easy data manipulation from multiple perspectives. The cube provides a visual representation of a three-dimensional data structure. However, the true nature of a data cube is multi-dimensional; it is not limited to three dimensions.

A "dimension", in terms of data analysis, is the "by" portion of a statement. For example, if you were analyzing the number of students by campus, by college, by major concentration, by credit hours, by gender, each of these qualifiers would represent a dimension. The cube allows for analyzing the data in this multi-dimensional way.
A "measure" or "fact" is simply the item being counted by the cube. Using the previous example, the "number of students" is the measure or fact being analyzed by the cube.

"OLAP" is an acronym for On-Line Analytical Processing. This differs from relational databases that record a series of transactions called "OLTP" or On-Line Transactional Processing. While OLTP tools are very powerful and effective for reports, they are very slow when an entire database or data collection must be summarized. OLAP performs much better in that arena.

Additional Information
For more information on OLAP Cubes, visit the following:


Decision Support is using Xcelsius for our dashoard tool. If you would like to explore this area with us or are interested in a demonstration, please contact our Functional Area Coordinators.

For more information on Dashboards, visit the following:

Data Visualization and Tableau

Decision Support is using Tableau for our data visualization and prototyping tool as we explore the value this approach can provide the higher education setting. Information on the U of I Tableau environment including publishing dashboards is available here.

Additional Information
For more information on Data Visualization, visit the following:


Predictive Analytics

Decision Support is keeping an eye to the future regarding how predictive analytics may be beneficial to higher education. We see many potential opportunities and look forward to further exploring this area.
Additional predictive analytics information will be available in the future.

Additional InformationFor more information on Predictive Analytics, visit the following: