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Minutes, ITANA Conference Call, October 16, 2008


Jim Phelps, University of Wisconsin-Madison (chair)
Michael Daley, University of Michigan
Tom Dopirak, Carnegie Mellon University
Scott Bernard, Syracuse University
Scott Fullerton, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mike Halm, Penn State University
Paul Hobson, Cardiff University
Piet Niederhausen, Georgetown University
Chris Phillips, University of Maryland-Baltimore
Rich Stevenson, University of Maryland, University College
Dean Woodbeck, Internet2 (scribe)

1. Roll Call
2. Agenda Bash
3. Accept minutes of last call
4. Face2Face Meetings 2009

  1. Face2Face Travel Issues
  3. Face2Face in Boulder in January
  4. Another Face2Face?
    1. - Enterprise 2009---The EDUCAUSE Enterprise Information & Technology Conference
    2. Internet2 meeting - Member Meeting or other...
    3. What other meetings?

5. Role of each of the meetings
6. Survey of Members


7. Business Intelligence


8. Next steps, next call

*Face2Face Meetings 2009*

Jim reviewed the upcoming ITANA meetings and related travel and scheduling issues.

• The ITANA constituent group meeting at EDUCAUSE will provide an opportunity for outreach.
• The next working meeting is tentatively scheduled for the day prior to the CSG meeting at the University of Colorado-Boulder on January 6. This meeting focuses on deliverables on a topic or set of topics - which need to be established.
• This third meeting focuses on reporting out, presentations, working sessions and hot topics (similar to last summer's meeting in Minneapolis).

A general discussion of planning for 2009 Face2Face meetings focused on the economy and the impact on travel budgets. Generally, piggy-backing on another meeting is less expensive and easier to plan, since another organization takes care of logistics. Piggy-backing on an established professional development opportunity also makes it easier to justify the travel.

Jim mentioned that sponsor funding is tighter, as well, and there may be registration fees involved in future ITANA Face2Face meetings. There is a draft Face2Face survey on the wiki. The group should review the questions and either edit the wiki with additions or send them to Jim or the email list.

*Business Intelligence*

Many of those on the call are in the early stages of developing business intelligence (BI) processes. At this point, it seems that BI has a very fuzzy definition and is considered on a very broad level.

University of Wisconsin - has a number of data warehouses, with PeopleSoft/Oracle in use for ERPs. There is a need, however, for reports and ways to extract meaningful and useful data from the systems. There is considerable interest in real-time access to the data.

University of Michigan - the BI initiative grew out of data warehousing. The university has a significant investment in PeopleSoft and data warehouses in Oracle, but there is also a push toward the Microsoft environment. Michigan also has some real-time reporting available to faculty for grant management and has begun doing the same thing with an HR system. The university is also considering purchasing a student administration system.

University of Maryland University College also uses PeopleSoft, has consolidated three systems into one, and is now building a data warehouse in Oracle. IT is just starting to get involved in this process.

*Data Retention and Stewardship*

Chris Phillips reported that he has discovered several very good data retention policies, particularly one at the University of Iowa. He will send information and links to the email list.

There was a general discussion about data stewardship and training data stewards. The goal should be to make data available (as opposed to unnecessarily restricting the data). Teaching people how to tag and classify documents and other pieces of data would also be very helpful.

Several universities are interested in developing dashboards, with pre-defined queries, but the problem is determining the information that will be useful. What are the common questions that need to be answered by the data? Too often, time is spent looking for tools, rather than defining the questions that need answering.

*UML Tools*

Jim Phelps asked about UML tools and training.

Penn State uses ArgoUML as part of its content management system initiative. There is formal training available and Penn State has partaken in that.

Georgetown uses Enterprise Architect by Sparx Systems for UML drawings and as an enterprise architecture tool for projects. UML drawings can be savind in a database and associated with projects.

The University of Wisconsin uses Visio or Omnigraph to draw UML pictures and has MagicDraw as a database. There is a particular interest in a good UML product with good training, particularly to encourage business analysts to use the software.

There was also a brief discussion about any attempts to store enterprise data architecture information in some meaningful way. The University of Chicago has developed a system to show relationships within the system, so they can see which systems rely on one-another and where applications are stored. Georgetown is going to migrate its data center and needs to define and save these relationships.

The October 30 call will not be held.

**Next Call, Thursday, November 13, 2 p.m. EDT