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UCF’s Data and Analytics Reporting Ecosystem (DARE) is a centralized enterprise data lake and warehouse environment powered by Microsoft Azure Cloud Services and architected for big data, modern reporting, and advanced analytics. DARE’s capabilities of advanced big data storage, modern business intelligence (BI) reporting, enhanced data manipulation, and enabling other detailed analytics provide the university with the tools to drive informed decision-making and improve overall operational efficiency

DARE Core Components

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Data Lake
The Data Lake serves as the low cost raw data staging area for the DARE environment and includes both structured (database tables) and unstructured (e.g., CSV) data. A key benefit of Data Lakes is their ability to house large quantities of data enabling the use of big data for analytics and reporting.

Data Warehouse
The Data Warehouse contains refined structured, curated data, ideal for dashboard development, cross-functional strategic analytics, and other complex reporting. This data is organized for ease of use by analysts, and is governed by UCF Data Governance

Analytics with Optimized Data
As a platform, the well-designed, vetted, and transformed data within DARE allows for better and more complex reporting and analysis using advanced data engineering tools, machine learning, and integration with tools like Microsoft PowerBI and Tableau.

DARE at a Glance

Analytics and Integrated Planning (AIP) are continuously working to identify critical use cases and data to store and make available to units and research analysts across the university to support key initiatives or other key business processes. Please contact AIP for further information

DARE is a centralized data delivery system that data engineers and data analysts can leverage to house and report on key business operations or strategic initiatives. Examples of the types of individuals who would be power uses of DARE to support their areas include:

  • Research and data analysts
  • PowerBI or other data visualization users who generate reports or insights for their areas
  • Data scientists who need data or a platform to use advanced analytics
  • Data engineers or those who need to Extract, Load, or Transform data for consumption

The underlying architecture supporting DARE is powered by Microsoft Azure services. These services combine to form a unified environment for end-to-end analytics reporting and advanced analytics in DARE. These components include

  • Azure Data Factory – Ingest, load, and transform data for usage from near-limitless situations
  • Azure Data Lake – Storage of high-volume data in all forms
  • Azure Synapse Analytics – Enterprise analytics service that accelerates time to insight across data warehouses and big data systems. 
  • PowerBI Enterprise reporting and visualization tool that seamlessly integrates to DARE.
  • Azure Machine Learning – Enables data scientists and developers to quickly build, deploy, and manage high-quality models.

Access and the inventorying of data resources in DARE will be managed by UCF Data Governance.