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Help for Student Data Queries

Overview. Student data is complex, and prerequisite training in SRS and an online course is required. In addition, there is an established user community here at Penn that meets periodically, and a listserv is available to help you query Student data in the warehouse.

Listserv and user group. The users of the Student Data Collection in the Data Warehouse across the University have a wide range of expertise, and are a valuable resource when questions come up about student data: where it comes from and how it is used. When you are granted access to the data, you will automatically be given a subscription to the, the list devoted to the Data Warehouse Student Data User Group, and you will be invited to user group meetings. When you have questions or comments about the data, please send e-mail to the list or bring them up at a user group meeting. Announcements about dates for user group meetings will be sent to the list.

Previous Student Data User Group Meetings

Wiki. A place to share questions, answers, suggestions for new canned queries, documentation enhancements and corrections, tech notes and other information related to the student data collection, the wiki is open to anyone who uses University of Pennsylvania central data resources to do the business of the University. Whether you simply wish to browse the information there, or would like to participate in the ongoing collection of shared information, is a resource you want to consider. A wiki password is required to be an active participant: contact Dr. Deborah Stagg in the Wharton school to get your account and password.

Canned Queries. A good place to get started is to take a look at the existing Business Objects queries on the repository. You can review the Query Panel, and even look at the SQL the query generates. The online BlackBoard course describes how to use these, and what each one does. If you have suggestions for the existing queries or new queries to share, post your suggestions to the student-wh list, or bring your ideas to the next user group meeting.

Data Seminars for new users. When newcomers to Student Data complete their query tool training, there is a follow-up Penn Data Seminar held for each of the major data collections. The data seminar covers the basics of using the STDTCANQ universe, questions query-writers should ask, and how to get started.

Mentors. When you request access to student data, you will be enrolled in the online BlackBoard course. You may have been given the name of someone who is experienced in using the Student Data Collection. This person will act as your mentor as you start using this data. In the beginning, please ask your mentor to review all your results when you begin to write "real" queries, to help ensure that you are retrieving information from the Student Data Collection correctly. The mentoring relationship can continue for as long as you and the mentor consider it necessary. If you have not been assigned a mentor, please consult the BlackBoard course instructor.



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