Meet the DRAM team

Does how IT Services works sometimes seem like a mystery? The quiet work of our teams keeps the University going in so many ways, without you even realising. We want to take this opportunity to tell you about one of these important teams. 

What is DRAM?

Sticky note on a laptop saying  'work smarter'

An excellent question. DRAM stands for Data Reporting, Architecture and Modelling. Staff and teams with data skills were scattered across IT services meaning that opportunities could be missed. We consolidated our data skills in one centre of expertise encouraging greater collaboration, eliminating single points of failure, and creating better collective outcomes.

This multi-skilled team brings together staff with overlapping data-related interests, including elements of data governance, architecture, modelling (Casewise), warehousing and reporting. The result is a joined-up, cohesive approach to producing top quality data solutions for our colleagues around Oxford University.

Helping colleagues around the University

Our team liaises with the broad University community of data experts to ensure that our products and services are important and useful to our customers. To help with this, Data Stewards have been assigned across many areas of the central administration and more will follow soon. We have also created a Data Issues Log which is reviewed regularly by a central Data Governance Group.

Analysts on data-projects have found data models and definitions in Casewise-Evolve invaluable. A recent integrations project estimated that they saved at least ten days of effort by accessing the data models that were already available in Casewise. In addition, many areas of Student Services, Research Services, Purchasing and Libraries use the data warehouse to create their regular statistical reports.

Thank you for your email and the information you provided, it is very useful for my work. I have access to Evolve and I was able to see the logical and physical data models. I believe it will be more useful for me if I have one big model with the PO and invoice tables. I was also able to run the Integrations - Backwards reports.

Finance Division – June 2020

How the DRAM team can help you

If you are:

Cartoon image of a person in front of a monitor with four different types of data (spreadsheet, image, docs etc) feeding in.
  • looking to create new reports in your area - find out what governed data is already available in our central data warehouse, or for details of Tableau reporting or our Power BI Pilot.
  • working on a data-related project - to find out what data definitions and models we have in your area and how we can help you document the data aspects of your work.
  • thinking of introducing a new IT application - take a look at our Application Catalogue to see what others in the University are using and how these applications link to the integrations, business processes and data models that are also stored in our Casewise-Evolve tool
  • have a data quality issue - look up the Data Steward for the data items involved and add an entry to our Data Issues Log.

Contact us for help and advice on any of the above. How to get in touch for further information and handy links are set out below.

Evolve has been extremely useful when working on E-expenses integrations and BizTalk projects, where previously business analysts (BAs) would need to track down previous BA's, DBA's, developers and support centres - now all in one place. Helps visibility.

IT Services Business Analysis Team –  September 2020

Further information

To find out more about accessing the Application Catalogue, integrations, business processes, Data Stewards and data models (along with many other things) in Casewise and Evolve please visit our SharePoint site (open to all members of University staff) or email our Casewise-Evolve team.

Cartoon image of a computer screen and phone with envelopes flying out across an outline map of the world

If you have a data issue that you would like to add to the Data Issues Log please email our Data Governance mailbox.

If you would like information about the data warehouse or Tableau or Power BI reporting please email our BI reporting mailbox.