Data Collection Guide

We know the IT Rationalization data collection process can be overwhelming. We also know that, in order for this work to be successful and the project to deliver real value, getting accurate, complete information is key. This data collection guide has been developed to answer common questions and clarify terminologies. As the process moves forward, we invite you to submit additional question, tips, or recommendations to be posted in this guide.

The Basics

The data collection process is being managed by the IT Services IT Rationalization project team, with guidance from our consulting partner, Deloitte. The collection of both central and unit/divisional data will help the University better understand how IT infrastructure is leveraged across the institution, and to identify opportunities to improve service, enhance offerings, and satisfy currently unmet needs.

This is truly a collaborative effort, requiring participation from 30 units and divisions. To simplify the data collection process, we have settled on using Deloitte-provided templates in the form of Excel spreadsheets. Yes, spreadsheets. We understand this may not be the most high-tech or even user friendly way of gathering information, but after piloting the process with IT Services’ internal teams we concluded it would be the most efficient for our campus partners.

As the process kicks off and you begin to engage your internal resources for information, feel free to reach out at any time with questions or to get clarification on anything included in the templates. You can fill out our contact form on this site or send an email to

General Questions

How do I know if I need participate?

If your unit or group is implicated in the data collection process, you will have received communication from someone on the IT Rationalization project team; most likely from the project director, Chris Riedel. You will have received a data collection template, along with specific instructions on how to proceed. If you believe you are implicated but have not been contacted, please let us know by filling out this form, or sending an email directly to

Why is this data being collected?

The data collected will help us build a comprehensive picture of the current state of IT at UChicago. Once complete, we will be better able to identify areas of redundancy, opportunities for service level improvements, and areas of need currently unmet or underserved. Using this data to facilitate those learnings, we will be able build a picture of the desirable future state, along with the appropriate business cases and relevant technology and process roadmaps.

How were the requirements for data collection defined?

The IT Rationalization team, in collaboration with the Shared Services team and our Deloitte consulting partners, worked to define seven major areas of focus as the scope for the ITR project. Based on that defined scope, Deloitte modified existing data collection tools to ensure these efforts aligned. In order to reduce the burden on our campus partners, and to keep the project zeroed in on goals, we are not collecting data that does not map to the seven areas.

How long do I have to collect the data from my unit/division?

Once data collection begins (the week of September 13th, 2016), we will provide approximately 4 weeks to gather the relevant information and report back to the ITR project team. It is our goal that all data be submitted by Friday, October 14th, 2016 for review and analysis.

What if I can't meet the data collection deadline?

We realize that, for many groups on campus, there is a significant amount of information to gather. We believe that 4 weeks provides a reasonable timeframe, but also understand other factors–such as resource availability–may come into play. If you are responsible for the data collection in your area and believe you will have significant difficulty meeting the October 14th timeline, please reach out to Chris Riedel directly to discuss options and strategies.

Do I need to provide data for all tabs in the spreadsheet?

If you have relevant data in any of the tabs available in the template, we ask that you provide that data. If you don’t have anything to report for one or more of the tabs, we ask that you mark that explicitly in the document so we can verify any omissions are not, instead, oversight. If you’re not sure if the data you have belongs in a given tab, please reach out so we can have a conversation.

How do I know what information is supposed to go in each field?

The data collection spreadsheet you received contains instructions for each individual tab. These instructions are basic, but fairly detailed. If you have reviewed the instructions, have read these FAQs, and still have questions, please send them to us so can help!

Where do I send the completed documents when I'm done?

If you are filling the data collection template out on behalf of your IT unit or division leader, please work with that individual to return the data to the ITR project team. If you are responsible for the data for your unit or division, have two options:

  • Email the data directly to Chris Riedel, using the subject line “Completed ITR Data Collection Documents”
  • Use our form to upload the documents directly on our website

Financial Data

What timeframe should we use for calculating costs?


We would like to see last fiscal year actuals. If there are large differences expected this year (a large system implementation or key staffing changes), please make a note of that in the “Additional Comments” section.

What is the difference between "compute" and "servers?"


In this instance, Compute and Servers can been seen as redundant, so you can account for your servers in the server item and leave the other blank.

Should we account for expenses incurred with IT Services?


If costs are incurred though ITS (e.g. computer leases, server infrastructure, VMs) and you pay ITS directly for those items, they do not need to be included here. That said, if you run applications on our infrastructure, we would still like those applications noted in the “applications and servers” section of the tool. In that case, please put “run on ITS infrastructure” in the appropriate server fields of that tab.

Application and Server Data

What if I have multiple applications running on the same servers?

We realize it is not uncommon to have more than one application running on the same hardware. Since we don’t want to double count servers, we ask that you list out all the hardware for your first application in the list and then apps on the same hardware get listed below with the following designation in each of the “Supporting Server Infrastructure” lines: “Same server as {application 1 name}.” Please try to group applications sharing hardware together to make it easier to quickly identify the overlap.

What do I put as the server model if I am running on VMs?

It is understood that some of the data required for physical servers will not be required for VMs. As long as you note what information you can (OS, quantity of VMs, etc.), you may leave server model blank. Remember, however, if you also run the VM infrastructure you will need to identify the physical hardware supporting that environment.

What does "location" mean?

This is simply where the server is physically located (e.g. “6045 Data Center,” or “AWS Cloud”). If the application is remptely hosted, please provide the name of the hosting provider. If your vendor is hosting with another provider and you are aware of that provider, please include both (e.g. “Hosting on Aquia Cloud, with AWS infrastructure”)

What's the Difference between "Annual Maintenance/Support" and "Maintenance/Support Renewal?"

“Annual Maintenance and Support” should capture operating costs for the application. “Renewal” costs should capture one-time costs associated with the application.

Should we account for servers in ITS co-lo spaces?

If the hardware is yours, meaning you manage it and are just renting space, then include those servers.  If they are in an ITS data center and on ITS hardware then they do not need to be included here.

Storage/Other Infrastructure

What is covered under "Other Infrastructure?"

As the label implies, this is the place to outline infrastructure not otherwise captured in the spreadsheet. Specialized hardware like check printers and the like can be captured here. If you aren’t sure if something belongs, include it and we can make a determination after you’ve submitted your data whether to include it in the overall analysis.


What is the difference between "black and white" and "networked (non-MFD)?"

In this case, we realize you may have a black and white, networked (or non-networked) non-multifunction devices. You can disregard the “black and white” line item as long as you are able to catalog your devices under one of the other available options in that list.

Contractors and Outsourcing

What do you mean by "Contractors?"

In this case there are 2 types of data we want:

  1. Contract employees that are staff augmentation in the sense that they are filling a currently vacant position. In this case there is a 1:1 correlation between the contractor and an open position.
  2. Contract employees or firms that are providing project level work. These folks may be one or many but their work, while augmenting gaps in current staffing, is tied to a discrete project.

For both scenarios, we are interested in the hourly rate at which these resources have been contracted.

When it comes to determining “Full or Part Time” status, scenario 1 is fairly straight forward. For scenario 2, just put “Project Work” in that column and we will allocate accordingly.


What should be captured in "Outsourcing?"

Outsourcing refers to work that is wholly outsourced by your unit or division, and that IS NOT done by central IT. This work can be thought of as outsourced support, infrastructure, and/or other services. It should be noted, however, that SaaS (Software as a Service) should be accounted for in the “Applications and Servers” tab, and NOT here.