IT Connect
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RPG New Visualization Release: Undergraduate Major Comparisons by Quarter

November 17, 2020

The Report Prioritization Group just released the newest addition to the BI Portal: Undergraduate Major Comparison by Quarter

In this news story we explain the purpose and benefits of the new visualization. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write and put “BI Portal Report Question: UG Major Comparisons by Quarter” in the subject line.

It’s All in the Name!

We admit, the visualization has a long name, Undergraduate Major Comparisons by Quarter. But each word explains something about the tool’s function.

  • Undergraduate Major: This report allows you to see a population of Undergraduates associated with a major in a  given quarter. This dashboard only looks at Undergraduates because an undergraduate can change majors throughout their academic career. They may start as “Pre-Major” then declare a major later, or once they’re “in a major” they may move to another one from quarter to quarter.
  • Comparison by Quarter: This visualization allows you to compare a cohort of students across two “reference quarters” like Autumn 2019 and Autumn 2020. The bar on the left shows you the students “in the major” in the first quarter, then shows “where those students were” in the second reference quarter.


First, use the quarter filters to choose the two reference quarters that you want to see:

Use the second set of filters to identify the major(s) you want to visualize:

The bar on the left shows you students associated with the  major in the “cohort quarter”, the bar on the right shows you the same cohort of students in the future “target” quarter.

You can click a comparison category to filter the detailed table below the bars!

Users and Use Cases:

The primary audience for this report is the academic advising community, and several UW advisers provided significant input on the report’s design! The following are real use cases from our data user community:

The visualization has three primary use cases:

  1. Advisers in Pre-Major Programs need to:
    • Observe if a student leaves a program at a given campus and joins a program at another campus.
    • Observe if a student stays at at a given campus, and declares a major. In that case, they want to know the major they joined, and the department that manages it. This helps them to allocate time partnering with those departments so that they can better represent students.
  2. Departmental Advisers (those who are responsible for students after they ‘declare a major’ e.g. Geography, Computer Science…)
    • Observe changes to the population of students they are responsible for. Here, they want to see the ‘flow of students in and out of the major’.
  3. Advisers can track students in given majors who are not registered for both incoming quarter (Cohort Quarter ) and/or outgoing quarter (Target Quarter)


This report references important institutional concepts like  Change of MajorUnderrepresented Minority Status, and many others. If you have questions about the meaning of these or any other terms, please explore these links or find more detail in the Knowledge Navigator.

As always, if you have any questions, please write and put “BI Portal Question: UG Major Comparison by Quarter” in the subject line.