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Accessing Data: Communities of Practice

Data and analytics at UC San Diego are getting an upgrade. Data warehouses are being replaced by activity hubs — repositories of historical and future data used for the aggregation of development, alumni, employee, facilities, financial, research and student activity. Data in the various hubs will be available for analytical use via the data visualization tools Cognos and Tableau.

In order to help analysts and data stewards from across campus learn about these new activity hubs and how to use Cognos and Tableau most effectively, the data and analytics team has created virtual meeting spaces called Communities of Practice (CoP). 

There are separate CoPs for Cognos, Tableau, financial analysts and research analysts, so users can get specialized help where they need it. However, all the CoPs operate in basically the same fashion. 

First, they’re built on a set of principles that encourage open-mindedness, collaboration and continuous improvement. Users can visit the CoPs to attend virtual trainings on topics such as picking the right chart or visualization controls. The training sessions are also recorded and can be accessed at any time. 

Alan Perez, a project policy analyst with Health Sciences, appreciates the collaborative nature of the CoP. He already understands how to use Cognos, but still checks in on the CoP for valuable information. He says, “It's always good to see how other people are using the product, and communities of practice provide a great platform to ask for help. The way I see it, you’re always going to have questions and now we have a place where those questions can be answered.”

Category: Data & Analytics