Action Project

Title: Building the Data Dashboard
Version: 1
Institution: East Central College Status: Completed
Submitted: 2016-05-11 Category: 5 - Knowledge Management and Resource Stewardship

Planned project kickoff date: 2016-05-12
Target completion date: 2017-06-30
Actual completion date:

Project Detail

Briefly describe the project in less than 100 words. Be sure to identify the key organizational areas (departments, programs, divisions, units, etc.) and key organizational processes that this action project will affect, change, and/or improve.

Design a data dashboard; create the processes to be used to maintain the dashboard’s currency, update information and determine targets and benchmarks. Prioritize items for the dashboard as the building process is underway.  Determine a process to add items or delete items.  Identify a style for the dashboard and appropriate web location.

The project will be managed by the Assessment Committee but will involve specifically the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Planning; all areas in academic affairs; all areas in Student development and the strategic planning committee.

Describe your institution�s reasons for initiating this action project now and for how long it should take to complete it. Why are this project and its goals high among your institution�s current priorities? Also, explain how this project relates to any strategic initiatives or challenges described in the institution�s recent or soon-to-be submitted systems portfolio.

Having a transparent data portal for the institution has been identified by other action project groups and the college community as an important goal.  The recently completed strategic plan calls for targets and benchmark data, which aligns with the work on the dashboard.  A clearer process on targets and benchmarks was needed as the work on the strategic plan continues.

List the project goals, milestones, and deliverables along with corresponding metrics, due dates, and other measures for assessing the progress for each goal. Be sure to include formal evaluations when the project progress will be reviewed.

February  - April 2016   Finalize goals and objectives; prepare declaration for submission.


May 2016        Declare the action project


May - June 2016         Review, prioritize and finalize data points to be on the dashboard; identify SP goals that are aligned; begin discussion of processes to be       established.Identify and prioritize data for the first dashboard. 


June - August 2016       Review a sample of the dashboard; work with the divisions/departments on benchmarking/target setting of these data points; work with programs on data points that have been established. Use a survey to evaluate the sample dashboard.


August 2016   Use BTSW, presemester events to share the look of the dashboard.  Discuss data points and prioritization of what data will be next.


August - October 2016           Review a sample data set; review the format of the dashboard; start to establish the benchmarks/targets. Use summer workshop opportunity to run session on benchmarking and target setting.


October - December 2016       Staff will work with the IR office and the web developer on the formatting and appearance of the dashboard.  What will the dashboard link to; how will data be linked to programmatic pages; how will trend data be available to support the dashboard?


January - March 2017      Use start of the semester meetings to roll out the draft dashboard; share the processes that have been drafted; discuss opportunities with the dashboard


April - May 2017        Establish processes to update and maintain the dashboard; discuss process for a change or addition or deletion from the dashboard. 


June 2017   Report on project completion.


Describe how various members of the learning community will participate in this action project. Show the breadth of involvement by individuals and groups over the project�s duration.

The Assessment Committee will manage the project.  The Committee is comprised of faculty and staff from various departments and units on campus. 

ECC will use campus wide meetings to share updates; the Assessment Committee will regularly and frequently include other members of the campus departments at its meetings to share and get necessary information; the draft dashboard itself will become a communication tool, readily accessible on the website.  Various departments and units will necessarily be involved as the data points are identified and the target/benchmark process adopted.


As the initial data points are prioritized and identified, all faculty and staff will have the opportunity to share feedback on how the process can and should work; what data points matter and why; the look and transparency of the dashboard will be evaluated.

Describe how the institution will monitor project progress/success during, and at the completion of this project. Be sure to specifically state the measures that will be evaluated and when.

During development, the college will use internal emails and various committees to preview the data to be displayed and to get feedback on the proposed benchmark/target building processes.  Staff will use the processes during this development phase to test functionality and will provide input on improvements.


During back to school events in the fall and spring, the college will survey all employees regarding the look of the dashboard and the value of the data represented.

Describe the challenges that may be encountered in successfully completing the project or for institutionalizing the learning from the project�s goals.

Very few challenges are anticipated; the college community is better versed in data literacy than several years ago which supports the effort.  With the decline in enrollment, transparent information that is readily available is needed and will be used.  If there is a challenge, most likely the biggest hurdle will simply be deciding what data to initially use in the dashboard.

Provide any additional information that the institution wishes for reviewers to understand regarding this action project.

For ECC, the timing is right for this project.  The convergence of the work on the strategic plan, a new website and improved data literacy require that the institution move in this direction and have made support for this effort easy to find.