Source Systems

What is a Source System

A source system is a system organizationally determined to be a source where core data elements are maintained.  A source system is the authoritative data source for a given data element.  Source systems include systems of record.

For example, a registration system or an accounting system could be a source system.  Conversely, a data warehouse is not a source system.  Data flow from disparate source systems like registration and accounting systems into a data warehouse.  A data warehouse can be the source of data for reporting but a data warehouse is not a source system.


Flow of data from source systems into a data warehouse and then into analyses and reports.
A data warehouse facilitates aggregated data analysis.

Common Source Systems

Common source systems in higher education include systems that manage data related to research proposals and awards, students, employees, finances, alumni relations, facilities, and athletics.  The systems often use common data like names, identification numbers, affiliations, and departments.


Common source systems include Research, Academics, Human Resources, Advancement, Finance, Facilities, and Athletics.
Institutions of higher education often manage data in multiple source systems.