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Max’s Minute: OIT by the Numbers

Max Davis-Johnson

In his latest video, Boise State Chief Information Officer Max Davis-Johnson provides key numbers and insights from the past year as he explains how and why the Office of Information Technology measures everything they do.

By comparing metrics and analyzing trends, OIT can focus on key strategic areas to focus on improvements.

“It’s important that we measure where we are and provide those numbers to the campus community for transparency,” says Davis-Johnson. “If we don’t know what’s broken then we can’t fix it.”


Hi! This is Max Davis-Johnson, Boise State University, Office of Information Technology.

Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite things: Numbers! And, basically, OIT by the Numbers.

We have the ability to count almost everything we do in OIT, and so we do! Numbers can have a lot of different meanings. Numbers by themselves, not so much, but we compare them to other numbers, we can see trends, we can see areas where we might need to improve.

So, I’m just going to share some numbers with you and maybe a brief explanation of how we use those.

So…first number I’m going to share: 399,240. That number represents the number of users we have in Active Directory—Active Directory being our identity management system. Of those 399,000users, 57,000 approximately are active students, 8,000 are active staff and faculty, and we have 117,000 alumni in Active Directory.

1,076: This is the current number of virtual machines, or “servers”, that we manage now in our data center. We have three petabytes of physical storage, which in reality translates to almost 100 petabytes of storage.

39% of our storage is used by research data, which it’s good! That means, you know, we’re doing research!

We’re now going to talk about Customer Care, some of their numbers. And, so, what better place to talk about than in one of our walk-in support areas, i.e., The Zone in the ILC.

So, last year we logged 56,000 customer contacts, and out of those 29,000 were phone calls, and then a combination of emails, chat, walk-in support account for the rest of what we’ve done here.

We printed 1.5 million pieces of paper last year. That’s a lot of paper!

Shifting a little bit to learning management…we had—again, because we had a big shift online— we had…our peak month last year in Blackboard was 1.5 million sessions in one month.

We had 140,000 Panopto views in our peak month.

We also had 50,000+ Zoom meetings. That was our peak. Zoom meetings…that was actually last March that we had we had them, although some of those are classrooms, some of those are meetings. I feel like I’ve been in more than my fair share of those, and I know many many of you have too.

I want to share two last numbers with you. 90 billion…and yes, I did say ‘billion’…and zero.

90 billion represents the number of pokes, probes, queries that we filter on an annual basis coming into campus. 90 billion…

And then zero is the other number, and I’m a little reluctant to say what this is, but zero represents—because I’m going to jinx this when I announce it—but zero is the number of phishing “hooks” that we’ve gotten here on campus. This is a testament to everybody here on campus. This is not an OIT number, this is a campus number.

I’ve talked about a lot of numbers but the last things i want to talk about are what I call enterprise KPIs and metrics. It’s very important that we do these on an ongoing basis. It’s very important that we share some of these from a transparency standpoint so you can understand what we’re doing and how well we’re doing. And there’s the potential to see areas where we need to improve, because we always need to get better.

We’re going to have a series of metrics that we’re going to be publishing here in the next month that will sort of reflect how we’re doing in those areas. So we’ll have project metrics that we’ll be posting…and oh, by the way, there’s also a separate website where you can go out anytime and see all the projects that we’re—not all the projects, but all the PMO projects—that we’re working on, their current status, and you can also see what’s in the queue.

And then last, but not least, we also will have operational KPI’s, metrics that we’ll be referring to. Customer satisfaction, basically. Employment-type metrics sort of tell us how we’re doing there.

Because we’re only as good as the people that work in OIT. It’s important that we measure sort of where we are, and with that whole process. Look for these in the next month. I think it’ll be very important from a transparency standpoint because if you don’t know what’s “broke,” you don’t know what to fix. So with those words, thank you for listening.