Monthly Archive for September, 2009

Avoid the pitfall of bad data.

In organizations where there are gigabytes or terabytes of data collected through the course of business, there exists a risk that, over time, some of the data can be bad, thus losing their business values.  This happens when the data cannot be consistently understood or interpreted to correctly represent the real world life.

Bad or unclean data creates confusion to the data users, making businesses lose insight on their performances. It also drives bad decision-making, causing damages or loss of profit to the business, and in the really bad scenarios, to customers.

(Read about GIGO:,_Garbage_Out)

The two keys reasons for bad data in an enterprise are loopholes within application/system design and incorrect usage by the end users.

In respect to Banner ERP, SunGard designed this system with SOME integrity in it. This ensures, to some extent, the business processes are adhered to, based on the normal work flow in most higher learning institutions. E.g. a student cannot register for a course before the registrar’s office creates it, or a classroom can’t be assigned twice for the same time slot in the same building. In the meantime, SunGard also left some flexibilities open for institutions to exercise their own policies and procedures. This leaves room for the second cause of bad data – incorrect usage.  Since there is not much Davenport staff (including IT) can do about the fundamental design of Banner, or any other purchased software the University is currently using, correct usage of these vendor products becomes the key factor for data integrity.

The following are some data quality suggestions that functional departments can implement

  1. Determine consistent and standardized data values within departments. This is the most important but also at-times ignored factor
  2. Validate data against the values developed from step 1 before entering into the system
  3. Enter/change data based on the result of step 2
  4. Developing training and knowledge transfer documentation to assist end-users with data validation/entry process
  5. When impact of data crosses to other departments, work with other departments and/or ITS to bridge departmental gap to ensure institution wide data quality
  6. Don’t try work-around to circumvent the established process/standards. If needed, re-evaluate the process and make process changes with consistency and integrity. When in doubt, seek advices from SunGard and/or ITS.

Kane Zhang

Checking Options

Do you hate it when you have a document with an entire section of technical terms or part numbers or some other text that is never going to pass the Spellchecker inspection?

Do you hate that it’s going to stop again and again and again waiting for you to tell it to ignore the text that you already knew it wouldn’t like.

To avoid the hassle would you like to know how to get Word to skip over specific sections in a document while still running a check on the rest?

First, you need to select the text that you want the Spellchecker to skip.

With the text highlighted you’ll need to get into the Language portion of Word’s proofing tools.

Click on the Review tab of the Ribbon and click the Set Language button in the Proofing section.


Check the option for “Do not check spelling or grammar” and click OK. (Note: the grammar check will also be turned off for the selected text so you’ll have to check that manually.)

This should return you to your document where you find that you’ll no longer be hassled by the spell check well at least in that particular area.

Dan Meyerholt

Quick list of IT policies and practices to remember

·         Good password policy – “A good password policy is key to the University’s overall systems security. You need to protect your own files and University resources by choosing a good password and protecting it.” “Part of a strong defense against intruders is a good secure password.”

·         E-mail Safe Practices – Don’t open links or attachments that you are not sure of. “Chain letters, junk mail and spamming are a wasteful use of space and are prohibited.” We need to remember “Keep email attachments less than 2 MB.”  

·     Secure your things if leaving it unattended- you can use Ctrl-Alt-Delete and choose Lock Workstation for DU Notebooks and PCs. You will need to have your login to unlock the desktop. If for some reason you walk away and forget, the computer will activate screen saver after 10 minutes.

·    DU Notebooks will have drive lock installed that requires you to login before having access to your Notebook. This is in case of theft. No one but you or DU ITS can access the hard drive.

·    Virus, Hacking, and Security Protection
In order to reduce the risk of losing private information, all personal student and employee information will only be saved on protected network drives. To access this information, staff will be required to use NetStorage (link provided on notebook), VPN, or other secure method. University implemented security measures such as screen savers, anti-virus and drive lock features must not be disabled.
This is just a short list of computing things to keep in mind when using your DU equipment. You can find more detailed information under IT Policies on the Davenportal.
 Located at Work Tools/ IT Services/ IT Policies



Thank You,

Michele Mallery




Using the Davenportal to find the current Class Schedule.

Finding the Course Schedule at any location:

There are numerous helpful resources on the Davenportal that can be an asset to Faculty and Staff.  Sometimes simply knowing they are there can help avoid issues and provide you with needed information quickly; one example is the class schedules.  Accessing class schedules for your location and other locations can be extremely helpful in efficiently assisting a student or planning a class schedule.

 To find a schedule of classes for any location, log into the Davenportal and select the “Academic Info” tab. 


On the left hand side, selecting “Course Search” will open another window for you to select what Academic Year, Semester, Location, and how you want to view the results. 


Selecting “Submit” will then call the information and put it in the desired format, whether it be displayed on the Screen, in an Excel spreadsheet, or in a PDF document. 

This location on the Davenportal is where the most up-to-date class schedule information will be and it accessible from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. 

A nice feature of this is that you can bring up the information in an Excel spreadsheet and then filter for the information you desire, such as a specific room number or just the classes you are teaching. 




John W.

Internet Bandwidth Upgraded

Davenport University provides Internet connectivity to all users within the organization through an Internet feed located in the Grand Rapids Data Center.  Histicorally, this has been a fiber connection with an allotment of 18M of Bandwidth.

What is 18M, you say?  18M is short-hand for 18 Megabits per Second – The speed at which we receive data from the Internet.  18M will download a full data CD of 650 Megabytes in about 3 minutes.  Compare that to your old 56K modem that would take over 24 hours.  Let’s take a look at a chart, showing what our Internet download looked like last week:


Hey, that’s going over 18M isn’t it?  Yes, that’s because our 18M feed is burstable.  That means that, from time to time, we can go over our 18M allotment.  If we do it too much (which we do…) then we get billed extra.  If someone were to ask: “How much bandwidth do you use?”, we would look at the red-line 95th percentile figure .  For ths week, the answer is that we use 22M.

This brings us to today.  We need more bandwidth.  Furthermore, we need redundancy.  If our internet feed were to break, well, it would be bad – to say the least!  Let’s take a look at our new bandwidth upgrade:


On the right, you can see two Internet feeds inbound – Merit and USSig.  These are our two Internet providers.  The recent addition of US Signal as provided 45M additional bandwidth, along with a redundant connection.  So, 18M for Merit and 45M for US Signal gives us a capacity of 63M.  Nice!

This week has the University ramping up to full speed with classes in session and the Resident Halls full of Internet users.  So, what does our bandwidth look like now?  Check this out:


Wow.  Over the past 24 hours our users have managed to download 245 gigabytes of data.  And keep the inbound traffic at a 95th percentile of 47M.  That’s well within our 63M Capacity.  We do see that we’ve peaked at 67M, so it’s nice to have the headroom.

Have a qestion?  Leave them in the comments section below.

Welcome to a faster cyberspace.  And, no, I’m not referring to the spot in fridge where you keep your apple juice.