The University of North Carolina System

Building a Culture of Data

The University of North Carolina System


In 2017, the University of North Carolina (UNC) System partnered with HelioCampus to create UNC Insight, a modern data-sharing platform connecting all of their institutions across the state. When the project began, the team was most excited about the centralized data warehouse, called the Student Data Mart, and the easy-to-use dashboards and data visualizations that HelioCampus developed to turn a wealth of data into meaningful information. In a system with 17 institutions, all with unique needs and demographics, each campus had built its own processes for accessing and using data over time. Maximizing the full potential of the Student Data Mart required a reliable, secure, yet accessible approach to data-sharing.

Under this new approach, informing and engaging stakeholders at all levels and all phases of the lifecycle became a centerpiece of the growth and development of UNC analytics. Read the case study to learn more about their approach and execution.

“We didn’t just want to build a data warehouse, we wanted to build a data culture...We aspire to empower leaders and other stakeholders to use data in real-time, during key conversations."

Laura Bageant

former AVP of Data and Analytics at the UNC System Office

How the UNC System Institutions are Using the Data

  • The data on the platform is not limited to census based, external reporting but also includes managerial, day-to-day data. For example, projects involving financial data, transferring courses and credit from prior learning, and emergency preparation data

    have attracted staff from other departments to learn more.

  • HelioCampus has also collaborated with institutions and the System Office on data science projects that include predictive models and forecast dashboards. One such project used risk scoring and student success predictive modeling to assist with identifying and intervening with students to improve retention, graduation, and course completion.

Building a Data Culture

  • As part of the effort to build a data culture, the UNC System team recognized they could tap into the wealth of expertise and experience among the universities’ teams.  Routine calls and campus visits were used to catalyze that effort, and experts from HelioCampus and across the UNC system were invited to share or learn more about the platform.
  • During their monthly meetings, leaders from the different UNC institutions share new use cases and learn more about upcoming initiatives from the System Office. They can also ask for support from HelioCampus and brainstorm potential projects based on current capabilities.

Learn More About the UNC System Story

Read the Case Study