The Pie Maker - Automating the Fact Book Creation Process

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The Pie Maker
Automating the Fact Book Creation Process
David Onder & Alison Joseph
SAIR 2012
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9608 students
Master’s Comprehensive
Mountain location
Residential and Distance
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Why did we do this?
Old process
• Access queries and SAS runs
• Manual data entry and formatting in Excel
Problems
• Error prone
• Long time to complete
• Only one level of data
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• Inconsistent formatting
• Lack of SAS skills
How could we fix this?
Pros
• SAS is very powerful
• Easy to create multiple levels of
reports
Push
Cons
• Lack of SAS skills
• Not easily pushed to web
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vs
Pros
• “Easy” to learn
• Handled by entry level
position and students
• Resists issues with staff
turnover
Pull
Cons
• Pictures and column spacing
• Timing issues
Gap Analysis
Have
• Access DBs per term
• Existing Excel tables
and graphs
• Desire to overlap with
other IR processes
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Need
• Combined Access DBs
• Automated Excel tables
and graphs
• Consistent, well-defined
format
General Approach
• Major revision to fact book look (see It’s Not About Pie…)
• Restructure existing Excel workbooks (standardized)
• Modify existing sheet as Report sheet (based on
Process)
• Build Data sheet
• Build Process sheet based on Data (calculations here)
• Build Access queries
• Connect Excel Data sheet to Access query
• Build Factbook using Adobe InDesign
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Inspiration
Chart Junk and Graph Formatting
• Edward Tufte
• Stephen Few
• Juice Analytics
Formulas and Complex Graphs
• Chandoo
• Jon Peltier
• Others
General layout and look and feel
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Major Fact Book Revision
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Build New Pages
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Data Tab
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Process Tab
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Formulas
• SUMIFS
• COUNTIFS
• AVERAGEIFS
• VLOOKUP
• SUMPRODUCT
• INDEX and OFFSET
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Report Tab
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Access DB
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Excel Connection to Access DB
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Resources
• Edward Tufte (http://www.edwardtufte.com/)
– The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2001
• Stephen Few (http://www.perceptualedge.com/)
– Show Me the Numbers, 2004
– Information Dashboard Design, 2006
– Now you see it, 2009
• http://www.extremepresentation.com/design/charts/
• http://www.juiceanalytics.com/chart-chooser/
• Purna Duggirala (http://chandoo.org/wp/ ) – Excel help
• Jon Peltier (http://peltiertech.com) – Excel templates
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Contact Information
David Onder, Director of Assessment
[email protected]
Alison Joseph, Business and Technology Applications Analyst
[email protected]
Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness
opie.wcu.edu, (828) 227-7239
Special thanks to Billy Hutchings (OIPE), Stephanie Virgo (former
WCU employee) and John Bradsher (student employee)
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