Data warehousing: a case of a Public University in Kenya
Research has shown that only a small fraction of data in an organization is timely available to decision makers. Today a set of significant new concepts and tools have evolved into new technology that makes it possible to address the problem by providing all the key people in the organization with access to whatever level of information needed for the organization to survive and prosper in an increasingly competitive world. The term that has come to characterize this new technology is 'data warehousing'. Data warehousing technology makes it easier for decision makers to analyze information in an organization without the help from Information Technology (IT) people. The main objective of this study was to determine the level of independency between top decision makers with IT personnel in accessing, analyzing and reporting data. The other objectives were to C determine whether there is an easier and quicker way to analyze data, design. and implement a solution to be used to turn analysis into a report with little or no help from IT department This study used a longitudinal research design and the mode of data collection was mainly through questionnaires, interviews and analysis of existing documents. The population considered was about 430 members of staff in the entire college. A sample size of 80 staff members was selected. Both primary and secondary data were collected. The primary data was used to establish the level of dynamic access to college data for analysis by top college decision makers, and how easily they can transform their analysis into a report. Secondary data consisted of college's reports and documents which included among others college strategic plan 2010-2013, student enrolment data ranging between January 2ﾷ008 and December 2011. Data collected was analyzed using descriptive analysis, cross-tabulations, correlation analysis, and regression analysis. The results of the survey showed that top decision makers in the college understand what data means, but they don't have easy access to the data. They depend on IT personnel to access data that they need to analyze and generate reports. As result they tend to have an uneasy relationship with IT people. However, for any serious analysis to be performed, decision makers need dynamic access to all the data and easily transform their analysis into a report without help from IT people. The study therefore, found statistically significant to design and implement single multidimensional-cube, also known as Data Warehouse, coPtaining student fee collection information from various courses between January 2008 and December 2011. With a data warehouse, top decision makers in the college can then dynamically access all the data they require, quickly analyze it, and easily transform their analysis into a report with little or no help from technical personnel. Data warehouse technologies are applied within Business Intelligence (BI) systems. With the right access to data, BI software based on Excel turns ordinary spreadsheets into a flexible, powerful and inexpensive BI system. BI programs give Excel users significant power and flexibility, while eliminating many problem associated with data analysis and reporting.