Newly renamed Office of Data and Strategic Analytics moves to chancellor’s office, broadens responsibilities

The newly renamed Office of Data and Strategic Analytics is assuming broader data responsibilities across Vanderbilt University as part of a move to the Office of the Chancellor.

DSA, formerly known as the Office for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, was housed within the Office of the Provost and was focused primarily on data related to academic units at the university.

Olivia Kew-Fickus

Positioning DSA within the chancellor’s office will allow Vanderbilt to better coordinate, support and analyze data at an institutional level. Olivia Kew-Fickus, former assistant provost and executive director for PIE, will lead the new DSA office as chief data officer and executive director.

“I am excited about the opportunities for Vanderbilt that arise from moving our team to the Office of the Chancellor,” said Kew-Fickus, who joined Vanderbilt in April 2019 as executive director of the Vanderbilt Institutional Research Group. “DSA will work with units and departments across Vanderbilt, which will be key for informing strategic planning, making data-informed decisions, and collaborating to improve the breadth and usefulness of Vanderbilt’s data resources.”

DSA will draw from a new university-wide data strategy, which Kew-Fickus developed this past academic year with input from offices and departments across campus. The strategy envisions the creation of a robust infrastructure that enables the integration and analysis of many different types of data, including the use of Tableau Server, a software analytics platform that will become available to the wider Vanderbilt community later this academic year.

The strategy also will include a training and skills-development component for staff and faculty as well as a more coordinated approach to conducting surveys across Vanderbilt, with the aim of maximizing the usefulness of data collected without overburdening the university community with requests.