In this first of a series of updates, we’ll give a description of what HelioCampus (Helio, for short) is and why we’re investing in it, provide an overview of UMBC’s goals for the project, and summarize what we’re currently working on and what’s next.
HelioCampus was established as an independent company after being formed at UMGC. It provides a data analytics platform covering the student lifecycle, institutional finance, and advancement. Designed to run using Amazon Web Services, Helio provides UMBC with the next-generation decision support services we need to operate more strategically and sustainably (from a financial perspective).
Put simply, Helio integrates our enterprise data warehouse with advanced reporting and visualization tools. With it, we’ll be better able to share information from our systems and answer key questions through analytics, data storytelling, and data science and do it easier and faster. Helio’s a key component of an integrated infrastructure for academic planning, assessment, and analytics and it helps to support our strategic plan, strategic enrollment plan, and the recommendations of our Middle States accreditation Self-Study.
Our goals for Helio are to broaden and deepen our use of analytics to increase enrollment, improve student success, shorten time to degree, ensure financial sustainability, and accelerate gift giving...all key elements of UMBC’s plans to weather the current environment and position ourselves for growth and success going forward.
Helio uses Tableau visualization software. The first set of visualizations and tools, often called dashboards, has already been deployed to a small group of campus users to allow them to test the platform. These dashboards focus on metrics related to admissions, enrollment, retention, and graduation. People using Tableau have had very positive reactions to its ease of use and power.We’re delighted to tell you that the implementation is on schedule. We will be holding regular meetings starting in the first quarter of 2021 that will showcase Helio’s and Tableau for people interested in learning more and we’ll provide training for people who would like it. Look for another installment in this series with the details.