Reporting Tools

iStrategy Releases Higher Ed Analytics Suite for Banner

iStrategy Solutions has released a set of business intelligence applications that work out of the box with data from the SunGard Higher Education Banner enterprise resource planning system. HigherEd Analytics Suite provides a way for users to do self-service reporting and dashboards. The release provides a pre-built data warehouse with a library of metrics, dimensions, and reports optimized specifically for higher education management. The analytics software doesn't perform the reporting itself; it works with reporting tools already in use by the customer. What it provides is the data model and extraction-transformation--and loading processes specifically--which form the underlying platform behind the reporting programs.

The new software is already in use by several institutions, including the University of Richmond in Virginia; Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH; and Drexel University in Philadelphia.

According to Kathy Monday, vice president of information services, U Richmond has been a Banner client since 1991. The school purchased iStrategy in 2009 as a long-term reporting/data analytics and data warehousing solution.

The first implementation was the vendor's student module. That project was kicked off in May 2009 and completed in September of the same year. The initiative had several goals, said Troy Boroughs, director of systems and networks at U Richmond, in a Web-based presentation. "Senior management wanted standardized data. They wanted to trust data. They wanted to have one version of the truth. And they wanted historical trends for forecasting," he explained. "The iStrategy data model for the student module alone contains 16 fact tables, 144 dimensions, and 150 measures. Producing that [with internal resources] would take us years."

"When we first heard iStrategy's claim that we would be up in running in months, we were quite skeptical," said Monday. "Five months later with our student data warehouse implementation up and running, we are now believers."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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