Education Data Warehouse User Guide Version Overview and Login Chapter

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					Education Data Warehouse User Guide – Version 1.0

Overview and Login

Chapter 1 Overview and Login Table of Contents
Introduction.................................................................................................................................... 1 What Is A Data Warehouse?....................................................................................................... 1 Why Do We Need A Data Warehouse? ...................................................................................... 2 What Data Is Available in the Education Data Warehouse?....................................................... 2 Figure 1 – Education Data Warehouse Data Sources ......................................................... 3 Getting Started............................................................................................................................... 3 District Planning Team ................................................................................................................ 3 Logging In ...................................................................................................................................... 5 Security Role for Basic Access ................................................................................................... 5 Security Role for Intermediate Access ........................................................................................ 6 Security Role for Advanced Access ............................................................................................ 6 Communication and Support ....................................................................................................... 7 EDW Contents................................................................................................................................ 7 Welcome Page ............................................................................................................................ 7 Figure 2 – Cognos® Connection EDW Welcome Page ....................................................... 7 Public Folders.............................................................................................................................. 8 Figure 3 – Contents of Public Folders .................................................................................. 9 Table 1 – Comparison of Reports and Cubes .................................................................... 10 Web Browser Support for Cognos 8.2 ...................................................................................... 10

Introduction
The Education Data Warehouse (EDW) is a collaborative effort of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and local school districts to centralize K-12 educational performance data into one state coordinated data repository hosted by the Department. The purposes of the EDW are to • • • • place the use of robust, timely performance data at the core of educational decision-making; reduce district burden and streamline data practices; improve district data capabilities by providing resources and technical assistance; and provide data for planning, policy, and management at the state and local levels.

The project’s long-term goal is to provide every district and school with the ability to easily query and analyze their organization's state-maintained data (SIMS, MCAS/ MEPA, and eventually Educator data), and to provide districts with the option to load and analyze their own data. In 2006, Massachusetts purchased, from Cognos Inc. (now an IBM company), the licenses for lifetime access for every educator in every school district in the state to use Cognos’ suite of web-based data warehousing software. Districts may choose to spend funds to train their staff, employ additional staff to write custom reports, or to contract with an SIS vendor for assistance in loading local data, but there is no cost to districts to access the EDW’s state-maintained data and run predefined reports.

What Is A Data Warehouse?
A data warehouse is a repository of data from many sources. Unlike a typical transactional database used for day-to-day operations, a data warehouse is structured to maintain large amounts of related, historical data for analysis and reporting. A data
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warehouse provides for easy reconstruction of “snapshots” of historical data, as well as the ability to link such snapshots over time using certain criteria.

Why Do We Need A Data Warehouse?
Improving educational performance and accountability depends on understanding the relationships among areas such as curricula, assessments, special programs, teacher qualifications, program spending, discipline incidents, and attendance. With our current systems it is difficult to cross-reference student-to-teacher, student-to-course, or studentto-program information. Without the ability to link data, state and local decision-makers cannot leverage the full potential of the information we collect and process. A data warehouse is a “longitudinal data system” capable of linking student, teacher, and financial information over multiple years, across multiple schools and districts. Using the EDW, Department and district decision-makers can take key metrics from multiple areas and analyze them in a single view. For example: • • • What are the results of program participation in terms of achievement? Which programs targeted at which student population have the greatest impact? How is a particular cohort of students performing over time and across multiple schools and districts?

What Data Is Available in the Education Data Warehouse?
The Department has loaded MCAS and SIMS data from 2002 to the present into the warehouse. A number of districts have loaded local data, including student, course, staff, grades, schedules, and local assessments. The EDW may also be expanded to include financial and program data. The key difference between a data warehouse and day-to-day transactional systems is that a data warehouse captures historically consistent snapshots from multiple systems and integrates these snapshots into a single database supporting longitudinal analysis and reporting. The primary sources of warehoused data will be school/district administrative systems, including SIS, Gradebook, HR, and finance systems from which districts can periodically upload data to the warehouse as needed. The Department loads MCAS data annually and SIMS data three times a year. Districts may choose to load local data annually or more frequently depending on the data and the district’s need for analysis.

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Figure 1 – Education Data Warehouse Data Sources

Getting Started
District Planning Team
Accessing the Education Data Warehouse’s wealth of data is easy but using it effectively can be a challenge, even for districts already immersed in the process of data-driven decision making to improve student learning. The Department recommends that districts form a district planning team and develop a project plan prior to rolling out the EDW across a district. In developing the plan, it’s important to understand that there are three levels of access and participation in the EDW and you do not have to navigate them all for the warehouse to be useful to your district. The district planning team should define district-specific goals, strategies, tasks, and measurements of success, and explain how each level of access will be integrated into the plan, if at all. Several chapters in this document correspond to the various levels of access: • Chapter 3, Basic Access – District uses predefined reports and analysis cubes containing state-loaded data. This chapter also explains the process of “student claiming.” Claiming students enables districts to view data for all students who are currently enrolled in the district, not just those who were present for the MCAS test, as is the default for viewing MCAS data, or those who were enrolled during the SIMS collection, as is the default for viewing SIMS data. This chapter should be read by all district users.

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Chapter 4, Intermediate Access – District develops custom reports using stateloaded data. In addition to accessing the predefined reports and analysis cubes, districts have the option of developing their own custom reports using IBM/Cognos Report Studio, a web-based report authoring tool. Report authors are typically members of the district’s information technology staff, and are required to attend advanced training. Chapter 5, Advanced Access – District uploads local data and produces custom reports using both state-loaded and local data. As with a district’s first rollout of the EDW, loading district data requires planning time, data preparation, and much trial and error before extract files will be successfully loaded and error free. This chapter should be read thoroughly by all individuals responsible for uploading data. The upload process is explained in four steps: • • • • Step 1: Data Review and Discovery Step 2: Data Extraction, Transforming, and Cleansing Step 3: Loading Data Extracts Step 4: Warehouse Testing and Validation

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The members of the district planning team should include one or more district/school administrators, a technology specialist who has knowledge of your district’s databases (particularly important if you plan to upload local data), a curriculum and instruction specialist, and a local directory administrator. Within the team, districts should choose a project coordinator and one or more report authors as your district progresses to the intermediate access level. If your district has a commercial Student Information System (SIS), consider your vendor as part of the team. They will be responsible for creating the extract files your district plans to upload. Planning team responsibilities should include the following: • • • • • Planning how your district will use the data in the EDW in the form of analysis queries and reports. Managing and monitoring your local tasks as detailed in the local project plan. Determining who will have access to the data. Ensuring district users have the proper access and roles to access the EDW, and that they understand and sign the district’s data use policy. Assess training needs and plan for user training.

At the advanced access level, if your district plans to upload local data, the planning team will also be responsible for • • • • deciding which data your district wants to upload, communicating with your SIS vendor, creating and uploading your extract files, and specifying and building local data reports.
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Your planning team should be created as your first step and should meet regularly during the EDW rollout phase to check the progress according to the project plan and as each new level of access is begun. Factors to consider when developing the project plan: • • • What areas of curriculum, instruction, and student achievement is the district planning to address with data analysis? How will data review and discovery be carried out? How many and what type of EDW users are expected, and what are their training needs?

A district’s level of participation depends on the district’s goals for data analysis and reporting, resources available to devote to the project, and district data readiness. Districts should take their time progressing through the levels and rolling out the EDW to their entire district. Preparation and training are paramount to the successful use of data.

Logging In
The Education Data Warehouse is accessible to every public school district and charter school through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Security Portal on the Department’s website. As with many of the applications on the portal, access is granted locally through the Directory Administration application. Teachers, principals, and other district personnel who want to gain access to the EDW must contact their district’s Directory Administrator. To find a list of Directory Administrators in your district or charter school, visit the Department’s website for the list of Directory Administrators. Roles and functions available for districts to assign to users relate to the levels of participation they will engage in. NOTE: Because of the confidential information available in the EDW and the laws regulating access to such information, Directory Administrators should consult Chapter 2, Security and Training, on the EDW website before assigning EDW security roles.

Security Role for Basic Access
There are two security roles for the basic access user. These roles are mutually exclusive in that only one role should be assigned to an individual and the role will depend on the user’s organization association (district or school) in Directory Administration. • DW – (210) District User has access to confidential, state loaded and district loaded data for their districts. They can also view the analysis cubes using the IBM/Cognos PowerPlay Web application. DW – (211) School User has access to confidential, state-loaded and districtloaded data for their schools. They can also view the analysis cubes using the IBM/Cognos PowerPlay Web application. DW – (212) Teacher User (not yet available) will have access to confidential, state-loaded and district-loaded data for their classrooms.

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NOTE: Although DW – (209) District Report Author is available for district users, it should never be selected in addition to role 210 and should only be selected instead of

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role 210 for trained report authors. See Security Role for Intermediate Access section below for more information on assigning role 209. All basic access security roles above have access to state loaded public data without restrictions, including aggregate data for other schools and districts. When assigning basic access level roles for district users, the only EDW role that can be assigned in addition to role 210 is the Data Warehouse File Exchange Drop Box role. •

Data Warehouse File Exchange Drop Box: This role is assigned to the
person who will send the district’s “student claim file” (see Chapter 3, Basic Access). It is available at the district level only and should be assigned in addition to role 210 for users with basic level access. The drop box role will become useful again for advanced access (see below).

Security Role for Intermediate Access
• DW – (209) District Report Author has access to confidential, state loaded and district loaded data for their districts. This role provides access to the Report Studio tool for creating school and district reports using public and confidential district data. Report authors can also view the analysis cubes using the IBM/Cognos PowerPlay Web application. However, it is not possible to create new cubes at the local level.

Security Role for Advanced Access
• Data Warehouse File Exchange Drop Box: This person has access to the Warehouse File Exchange drop box in Drop Box Central on the Department’s Security Portal. It is through this drop box that districts upload local data to the EDW. At the advanced access level, it should be assigned in conjunction with the 209 security role for reviewing the reports to validate and approve the uploaded file. (For more information on the Warehouse File Exchange, see Chapter 5, Advanced Access.)

The steps to assign all security roles are as follows:
1. Add users to the appropriate organizations (school or district) if they have not been added already. 2. Assign only one data warehouse security role (210 or 211) to users who will have basic access. Access issues can arise from having both roles assigned. 3. Assign both the Data Warehouse File Exchange Drop Box role and the 210 security role to the user who will be uploading a student claiming file. (See Chapter 3, Basic Access, for more information on student claiming.) 4. Ensure that all users read and agree to the district’s data access policy as required and explained in Chapter 2, Security and Training. 5. Inform users that access will be available the next day since it is an overnight process to populate the EDW with new user information.

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Communication and Support
The Department’s EDW team is working to improve functionality, create new statewide reports, enroll more districts, and respond to daily requests from district users across the state. To facilitate communication, the EDW team has created the Date Warehouse Contact function in Directory Administration. The person to whom this function is assigned is the main liaison to the Department. District rollout of the EDW should be organized so that requests for user support are directed within the district first and only passed to the EDW team via the Data Warehouse Contact when it is determined that the issue cannot be resolved locally. Several email lists have been created to which all users can subscribe and unsubscribe themselves. These lists are two-way so that all users can email the group for support, ideas, and information. Please visit the EDW website for information and to subscribe.

EDW Contents
Welcome Page
A user logging in to the Education Data Warehouse for the first time will see in the title bar of the web browser, “Welcome – Cognos Connection.” As explained above, IBM/Cognos owns the web-based software upon which the EDW is built and Cognos® Connection is the web portal used to access the software. (Figure 2)

Figure 2 – Cognos® Connection EDW Welcome Page
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If the Welcome page fails to display, there may be a problem with your EDW authorization. Contact your local Data Warehouse Contact who will notify the EDW team at the Department if the problem cannot be resolved locally. The Department has licensed Cognos QuickStart for School Administration, a self-paced, computer-based training (CBT) for district and school users. A link to the CBT is available under the Help section of the EDW welcome page. The system requirements for running it include: • • • • • • Windows NT 4.0, 2000, or XP Minimum Pentium 233 Minimum 64 MB RAM 1024 X 768 screen resolution Internet Explorer 5.5/6.0, ActiveX enabled Macromedia Shockwave Player 8.0 installed (included with the CBT)

Note: This tutorial cannot be run on a Mac in Safari or Firefox. Also under the Help section are several Cognos-developed user guides for the Cognos applications used by the EDW, and the Department’s Education Data Warehouse training curriculum located at the “Training Materials” link and outlined in detail in Chapter 2, Security and Training.

Public Folders
The options displayed on the warehouse portal are dependent on your authorization level. All users see three portal tabs: • • • Welcome – the welcome page created by the Department Public Folders – contain public reports and analysis cubes My Folders – where users can save reports and files

The EDW’s Welcome page contains introductory text and helpful links to get you started. Public Folders contain files of interest to many users, including predefined reports and analysis cubes. My Folders are personal folders that can be organized according to individual preferences. The content of these folders is different for every username and password. The subfolders under Public Folders are as follows (Figure 3): • District Data Upload Validation folder contains predefined reports used by districts to validate and accept uploaded local data. This folder is visible for district level access only. District Folders contains a folder for each district, with access restricted to district members. District EDW administrators can create additional subfolders that are restricted by username. ESE Portlets folder contains portal pages created by the Department’s EDW team. This is where the welcome page resides. Any page in this folder can be made a portal tab like the welcome page.
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ESE Cubes folder contains PowerPlay Web analysis cubes for exploring stateloaded data. ESE Enrollment and Indicators folder contains predefined SIMS reports provided by the Department. These reports are similar to student enrollment and indicator reports found on School/District Profiles on the Department’s website, but also show multi-year trends. ESE MCAS Reports folder contains predefined MCAS reports provided by the Department. These reports are similar to MCAS reports on School/District Profiles on the Department’s website, but also include student-level reports, including a student’s MCAS history across multiple districts. Training folder should be used for all trainings and demonstrations given in the district as it contains reports written against a smaller database containing fictional data created especially for the trainings. It should also be used by report authors when writing and testing new reports. The blue folders are reporting packages for use by report authors; most users can ignore these folders.

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Figure 3 – Contents of Public Folders

The predefined reports found in the ESE Enrollment and Indicators and ESE MCAS Reports folders are created using Report Studio. Only the DW – (209) Report Author role has access to Report Studio to design custom reports (see Chapter 4, Intermediate Access). The role should not be assigned to someone who has not been trained to use Report Studio. Predefined reports are viewed through the Report Viewer application. When users access the cubes, they are using the PowerPlay Web application. District and school level users have access to PowerPlay Web to produce ad-hoc reports against analysis cubes. Analysis cubes contain data summarized multi-dimensionally at the school and district levels. From well-designed cubes, you can create reports in minutes (rather than days or weeks).
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PowerPlay Web has more limited formatting capabilities than Report Studio, but supports flexible, multi-dimensional analysis with drill-down. The PowerPlay Web analysis cubes also support drill-through to student detail reports in the full data warehouse.
Table 1 – Comparison of Reports and Cubes

Predefined Reports Data source Strengths • Detail records in the full data warehouse • Formatting and business rule encoding • Student test item detail • Most recent data

Analysis Cubes • Pre-aggregated school and district level • • • • Speed Flexible, multi-dimensional analysis Drill-up/down Drill-through to student detail in the full warehouse

Web Browser Support for Cognos 8.2
Internet Explorer is the preferred browser, however, Firefox is also supported for running reports and accessing analysis cubes. Internet Explorer is required for authoring custom reports with Report Studio.
COGNOS CONNECTION and REPORT VIEWER OPERATING SYSTEM SUPPORT

Internet Explorer 7.0 Internet Explorer 6 SP1 Internet Explorer 6 SP2 Netscape 7.2 Firefox 1.5 Firefox 1.5 Firefox 1.5.02 Firefox 1.0.4+ Firefox 1.0.4+

Windows 2000/2003/ XP Windows 2000/2003 Windows XP Windows Windows Macintosh Linux/UNIX Windows Macintosh/ Linux/UNIX

Active Compatible Compatible Active Active Compatible Compatible Compatible Compatible

Note: MS Office integration is only supported on Windows platforms (i.e., export to Excel)
REPORT STUDIO OPERATING SYSTEM SUPPORT

Internet Explorer 7.0 Internet Explorer 6 SP1 Internet Explorer 6 SP2

Windows 2000/2003/ XP Windows 2000/2003 Windows XP

Active Compatible Compatible

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