October 2016

Oracle 12c - A new look for OBIEE

This coming Monday, October 17, the environment at bi.stanford.edu will be upgraded to the latest version of Oracle (from “11g” to “12c”, for those who are curious). The new version has a more modern and minimalist look and feel, but it is not functionally that different - you will still find most buttons, menus, and options in the same place as before. If you’ve created and saved any custom reports, they should all be there as well. There will be a few small changes, however, in how users interact with the portal. Here are some of of the differences you might encounter:

  • The settings/properties icon used to be 3 little lines - it is now a gear icon.
  • The default Home page has different icons for your possible “Create” activities
  • Graphs have simpler, flat graphics; they don’t use gradients and shadows
  • There is no longer an option to “Hide” a column in the dashboards; you can only “Exclude” (which is what you would want to do anyway, so that’s a good thing!)

For more examples of changes and helpful screenshots, we recommend that you have a look at this excellent 12C basics document put together by our friends on the Evolve Financial Reporting team. You may also be interested in a more complete writeup on the transition prepared by Administrative Systems.

There are also some new capabilities in this new release. We will be highlighting some of these new features in upcoming newsletter issues, and possibly also on our SIRIS website. New SIRIS releases will take advantage of new features, and existing releases may be upgraded to take advantage of them, over time.

**Important note: As part of the upgrade, bi.stanford.edu will be unavailable from 5PM on Friday 10/14 to 8AM on Monday, 10/17.**

As always, don't hesitate to contact siris-support-team@lists.stanford.edu about any questions or issues.

Issues Fixed!

We are very excited to report the fix of a few outstanding issues with SIRIS!  We will continue to offer more fixes/improvements as we move forwards, thanks to our partners in Administrative Systems.

The Plan and Term Enrollment Dashboard (Fix will go live on 10/21): For the first two report tabs within this dashboard, you will be able specify both program status and enrollment status in the selection criteria. Originally, this was only possible on the first tab. Additionally, the values are now displayed as complete words, instead of abbreviated codes. As a reminder, a student’s program status reflects their overall status with regards to a particular academic program at Stanford, whereas term enrollment status reflects specifically whether or not the student was enrolled that term (participating and paying tuition). A student can still be “Active” in a program, even when not enrolled—for example, most undergraduates remain “Active” in their programs during summer quarter, whether or not they are physically here. The default selections on the SIRIS dashboard reports search for students that are both “Active” and “Not Withdrawn”—active students that are here that quarter.  Now those default settings are easier to understand, and it’s also possible to change them, if desired (e.g. you want to know who Cancelled that term or who’s on a Leave of Absence). Stanford’s Data Governance Center contains many more details about Program Status, including explanations of the range of possible values (you must be on a Stanford network or VPN to access these links).

The Future Dating Problem: Previously, when looking at data for the current term, the results would reflect a student’s anticipated status on the last day of the quarter, instead of the previous day. This meant that a student on a leave of absence returning at the end of the quarter showed up mid-quarter as having already returned (“Active”) when they were actually still on leave. This has been fixed. Now, when you are running reports for the current term, the results reflect the students’ statuses as of the previous day. Reports on past terms in SIRIS 1 (the existing dashboards) always reflect the status at the end of the term. Reports in SIRIS 1H (the upcoming census data release) reflect the day on which the census is taken that term, typically about four weeks into the quarter.

Confused? Curious? Concerned? Send us an email at siris-support-team@lists.stanford.edu or attend an upcoming SAKE meeting (see below for the schedule).

SAKE in October

Our monthly Student Analytics Knowledge Exchange meetings will resume on Monday, October 24 at 11am. On the docket for this month is a discussion of the differences between SIRIS 1 and 1H (the upcoming census data release), including tips on how and when to use census data, where to find help, and a brief intro to the new 1H dashboards. We’ll also go over some of the changes and new features to be found in OBIEE 12c!

IR&DS Leadership Change

October has been a month of transition within IR&DS! Our own Corrie Potter has assumed the role of Associate Vice Provost and Director of Institutional Research and Decision Support, following the retirement of Kathleen Dettman. Corrie has been at Stanford since 2004 and was previously the Director of Assessment and Program Evaluation within IR&DS. We wish Kathleen the best in her new adventures and look forward to working with Corrie in her new position.

Upcoming SIRIS Trainings

Dashboard Training: Monday 10/24 from 1-4pm (email siris-support-team@lists.stanford.edu to sign up

Ad Hoc Training: Wednesday 10/26 from 1-4pm (search for IRDS-0200 in STARS)

Scavenger Hunt!

As a reward for scrolling all the way to the bottom of this newsletter, we have a fun little challenge for you. If you can answer the following question using the SIRIS dashboards, email the answer to siris-support-team@lists.stanford.edu before 5pm next Friday, October 21. We will pick one respondent (with the correct answer) at random and that person will receive a special SIRIS-themed prize!

In the School of Humanities and Sciences, which department awarded the highest number of Ph.D.s to women from 2011-12 through 2015-16? How many were awarded?

We will share the answer, as well as how to find it, in next month’s newsletter!


SIRIS (Student Integrated Reporting and Information System) is a tool designed to allow customized and in-depth reporting on students at Stanford. SIRIS is sponsored by the University Budget Office and Business Affairs, and is the product of a collaborative effort between Institutional Research and Decision Support  and Administrative Systems, in consultation with the Registrar’s Office and representatives from the Schools and VP areas.

Email siris-support-team@lists.stanford.edu or visit siris.stanford.edu to learn more.

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