Business Intelligence: Data Warehousing, Reporting and Analytics

Authored by Vicki Lund-Tulloch, Business Intelligence Administrator, IT Services

Have you ever wanted to know…

  • Are we reporting the right information, in the best way, to government bodies to boost our comparative rankings, meet compliance requirements and secure desired funding levels?
  • Can our academic and business decision-makers easily analyze operational data, from across faculties and functional areas, to make better decisions in a budget sensitive climate?
  • Do our marketing strategies align with student feedback and leverage the demographic, psychographic and geographic trends within our student body?
  • How many annual enrolments do we require – of a full fee paying, government supported and scholarship nature – to remain profitable and secure desired levels of government funding?
  • Do we have access to the right student, research, performance and departmental data to compile effective research grants?
  • Are we building the right infrastructure to support student satisfaction, learning, retention and successful graduation?
  • Are our industry partnerships aligned with current student courses to ensure relevancy and boost successful job placement upon graduation?

Addressing these questions requires the timely and accurate student, research and operational data that Business Intelligence can provide. We’ve already begun our journey with just such a system:

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Ellucian Banner Operational Data Store provides a consistent view of institutional data for everyone across campus. Data uses familiar business terms and definitions so departmental users can easily access the information they need to manage operational reporting, perform ad hoc queries, and make better decisions about their daily responsibilities.

Cognos Reports provides an enterprise level depth of features for reporting, metadata creation and data modelling. It features tools for self-serve ad-hoc, complex and dashboard reports with automated and event driven delivery.

The Importance of Business Intelligence in Modern Higher Education

2016 EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issue: BI and Analytics

Higher education institutions must become more data driven to capably respond to demands to become more effective and flexible and to meet both mission objectives and regulatory requirements. Business intelligence (BI) and analytics are the keys to unlocking insights that are contained in the numerous institutional data stores.

Gartner’s 2016 CIO Agenda Report

“Business Intelligence and Data Analytics are the top trending priority for global CIOs in 2016. This marks the fifth-consecutive year that BI and analytics has topped the list.

Business Intelligence and Data Analytics tools have certainly gone from being auxiliary parts of business to absolutely vital. It’s a near-certainty that BI and analytics will remain the top priority of global enterprise CIOs again in 2017, as the need to gain insights from data will continue to increase.”

Gartners 2016 CIO Agenda: A Higher Education Perspective

Business Intelligence and analytics are receiving the highest new funding of any technology in higher education:

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What the University of Lethbridge is Already Doing With Our Current Business Intelligence

“Cognos allowed us to automate 75% of the manual processes involved in generating our Fact Book publication which significantly reduced the time required to generate these institutional reports.”

“Enrolment management reports built in Cognos allow for weekly reports to be scheduled and run automatically from a reliable data source, saving time and reducing potential errors in the reporting process.  This type of reporting also enabled additional faculty and program specific reports to be developed and used to better inform institutional decision-making.”

James Croil, Acting Manager, Institutional Analysis

“It has given users within Financial Services more flexibility to run reports with a variety of parameters at any time rather than waiting for someone with expertise in MS Access to query finance tables and create the reports.”

Linda Anderson, Director, Finance System Support & Development, Financial Services

“With on-demand access to prospect reports, the ODS enables our fundraising managers to monitor development activity as often as they like, from their desk, on the road, or from home – at a time that is convenient for them.  This flexibility puts them in control while also freeing up the time of the report-writers for other tasks. We recognize that BI is important to help our institution better identify philanthropic prospects and compete for philanthropic contributions.”

Anna Linville, Manager, Advancement Services, University Advancement

 How We Compare to Other Higher Education Institutions With Business Intelligence

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Source: The Analytics Landscape in Higher Education, 2015 EDUCAUSE and Gartner

For any questions or further information, please contact Kevin Vadnais, 403-332-4056 or kevin.vadnais@uleth.ca.

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