UNO welcomes a new business intelligence program


By Anna Lynch, Contributor

The University of Nebraska Omaha made a  addition to its list of programs called Performance INformation Gateway (PING). The business intelligence program provides ample amounts of facts, statistics and figures that are useful to the campus, community and the public.

According to PING’s website, PING is the “portal for accountability information, academic and department management indicators, reports and analytics that support data-driven decision-making across our campus.”

The program was developed under a “collaborative effort,” according to Acting Director at UNO’s Office of Institutional Research, Russell Smith. The collaboration involved the UNO Office of Institutional Research and UNO Information Services.

Enrollment Management and Marketing, a new unit that includes registrar, financial aid, admissions, recruiting and marketing will be effective April 16. It also took part in the development of PING.

With a goal to increase UNO’s enrollment numbers to 20,000 students by 2020, a program such as PING was needed for enrollment management and other data-driven areas of research.

The program will not only make key information more available and assist in reaching enrollment goals, but according to Smith, PING will also better educate students on where their resources, funding and other services come from.

“One goal is that students would learn more about UNO and its funding services…and the things that go into producing an education.”

PING, which is currently in Phase 1, plans to implement the “overall PING website” and include information regarding enrollment trends and a new “student list” report.

UNO Chancellor John Christensen expanded on the importance of the new program.

“These metrics will help guide the campus community in our efforts to continuously improve quality and add value to the student experience,” he said.

An objective of implementing Phase 1 is to display basic key performance indicators (KPI) for the UNO campus.

According to PING’s website, these KPIs “incorporate measures from different areas, including: resources, educating students, productivity, research enterprise, student success and student opportunity.”

PING displays the key performance indicator for the years 2004-2009, which is helpful for understanding UNO’s current performance based on data obtained from previous years.

Also offered is a separate bar chart that indicates a trend in the most recent information for UNO for 2010, 2011, or for both years.

Comparison of these charts help explain UNO’s current performance relative to its past performance and can serve as a helpful tool in determining enrollment data.

The KPIs not only serve as a useful tool for UNO’s research trends over time, but can also be utilized when analyzing UNO’s data compared to other institutes’ data trends, who are members of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU).

Students, faculty and community members can browse PING’s website along with current and past KPI’s with ease, yet some areas offer more security. The Academic and Departments Indicators tab requires a login with UNO NetID and the student lists tab requires a login with a WebFocus ID.

PING plans to add additional reports, analytics and dashboards throughout 2012 to further completion of Phase 1.