Welcome to Weeding the Numbers Garden!

Do you feel like your data is an overgrown garden?  Are you spending too much “quality time” with Excel?  If you want help harvesting insights quickly, you have come to the right place.

ren_leaflight-smallDr. Livingston, I Presume

Hi, Everyone!  I’m Ren Leaflight, the Business Intelligence Analyst for the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University.  Our college is quite large with 75+ majors and 100 minor degree programs.  All in all, we serve around 16,000 undergraduate and 2,500 graduate students.  Keeping track of all our students, faculty, departments and centers can be overwhelming.

It’s a (Big Data) Jungle Out ThereOrangutan in Jungle

Data everywhere is growing into a massive, tangled jungle – and OSU is no exception. When I was young, I loved imagining “Intrepid Explorer Ren” hacking through dense jungles and fighting off giant mosquitoes.  Nowadays, I prefer my data neatly organized – a data garden, if you will.  In this blog I will be covering some of the tips and tricks I use to tame the data jungle.

Weeding-the-Numbers-Garden Blog

This blog will explore tips and tricks to simplify your life with basic data exploration tools like MS Excel or MS Access.  Entries will range from general to advanced topics and each one will be clearly marked:

Picture of Earth to Symbolize Global Rating

Picture of Baby Using Computer to Symbolize Savvy Rating         Picture of Meditator in Front of Moon to Symbolize Guru Rating






We will also consider some of the newer data visualization tools on the market like Tableau and Datawatch.  MS SQL Server tips and tricks will be discussed in some of the “guru” positings.  We will discuss how to best answer your questions using our PeopleSoft query tools: eReports (Hyperion) and the soon to launch BuckIQ.  I will also explore some of the free tools available to download from the web that can help us tame with wildest data garden.

Guest Bloggers

Additionally, I will be inviting guest bloggers from around the university and from other higher education institutions to write about a topic where they are the experts.  They will help us discover new areas and gain a different perspective on the issues we all struggle to overcome.

Focus on You

Most of all, I would like to discover and explore the information and tools important to you.  I encourage you to chime in with your insight. Let me know what topics you would like me to cover. And if you have a topic you are burning to share, I invite you to be our next a guest blogger.

KittensRen's Three Kittens Lounging on Bed

And because data should be fun, here is a picture of my three kittens – Brigitte Lin, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li.

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