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A common concept model for academic data systems helps planning


A common concept model for data systems planning at higher education institutions has now been published. Version 1.0 of model is composed of 359 concepts or words and 48 diagrams. The diagrams explain the relationships between the concepts.

The model is now being tested at pilot higher education institutions. The concept definitions are available for viewing at http://raketti.csc.fi/xdw/kasitemalli

As an ambitious and labor-intensive sub-project of the RAKETTI project, the common concept model and management tools are now completed for the entire higher education sector.

"This new concept model is called version 1.0, because we were able to test the model in data warehouse implementations and its groundwork was proven to work”, says Teemu Kemppainen, Application Specialist from CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd.

The work on the concepts was carried out over 2007-2009 in working groups consisting of specialists representing higher education institutions. Comments were collected from general management, personnel and financial management, facilities management, and the research and development functions of the higher education institutions.

The basic concept definition work was carried out in specialist working groups using a workshop method. The basic structures for the model have been developed based on discussions held in the working groups. Into the future, the further development of the model will be guided by real reporting needs and real data in data systems.

The concept model will be developed and extended based on feedback given by the piloting institutions (Aalto University, the University of Oulu and HAMK University of Applied Sciences), so the work on concept models is not over, by any means. "The model can easily be extended, but what makes it challenging is that it is difficult to remove elements that will be adopted to use in the data warehouse", says Kemppainen on the challenges facing the further development.

Feedback on the concept model is also being collected by the wiki system developed by CSC. Wiki is a forum where anyone can comment on the concept charts and concepts in public. It is also possible to contribute ideas for development by sending e-mail to kasitemalli(at)csc.fi
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CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd. is a non-profit limited company administered by the Ministry of Education. Having core competences in modeling, computing and information services, CSC provides versatile IT services, support and resources for academia, research institutes, and companies. CSC provides Finland's widest selection of scientific software and databases and Finland's most powerful supercomputers that researchers can use via the Funet network.