Get a BI Boost
On-demand business intelligence makes the grade for student services.
Keith Werosh is the university
registrar at the National University
of Health Sciences(IL), where he recently oversaw
the deployment of a comprehensive
offer a wealth
if only it could
more easily; getting the right
information to the right
people at the right time could
make all the difference. With
this in mind, Werosh guided
the implementation of
Crystalreports.com, an online
from Business Objects,
to enable “on-demand”
business intelligence. Here,
Werosh draws on his BI
experience at NUHS and
shares his Top 10 tips for
creating and fostering an
information-centric culture, to
improve business operations
and student administration.
Want to be considered for Campus Technology’s Top 10? Send your countdown and a brief background/bio summary to firstname.lastname@example.org
Build a single data repository for all student-related information.
- Bring information from disparate applications into a single data warehouse.
- Use this “one version of the truth” to ensure that all staff are accessing
consistent and accurate data.
Use the central repository as a foundation for collaborative
- Make sure the data repository is accessible to authorized users across campus.
- Encourage cross-departmental data sharing.
- Offer reporting tools and dashboards that deliver data in easy-to-understand
Pave the way for greater acceptance and adoption by identifying and
satisfying your users’ particular IT and business needs.
- In the design phase, consult with users to find out what data is most important
to them, what format they want to receive it in, and how often they need it.
- Create a BI center of excellence that includes representatives from all
functional areas across the organization.
- If necessary, leverage consultants to overcome departmental divides.
Assess your IT resources..
- Use web-based apps to minimize internal hardware and software investments.
- If your IT department is short-staffed, maximize the team’s productivity by
selecting applications that are fast and simple to deploy.
Remember that for users, simplicity is king.
- People are excited when they can get important information right away and
by themselves, regardless of their technical expertise.
- Choose user-friendly interfaces that are welcoming.
Warehouses ho! Think: ‘Real-time data or bust.’
- Deliver information in real time so people can manage performance proactively.
- Banish spreadsheets. By the time they’re completed, analyzed, and shared,
the information is out-of-date.
Show executive management the benefits of improved data access.
- Demonstrate a system that delivers a solid grasp of how the overall institution
is performing at any point in time.
- Show how staff can align their everyday work to longer-term, strategic
Compare your university’s performance metrics to industry norms.
- Include both operational and student information in comparisons.
- Analyze attrition and enrollment trends as you tailor program offerings.
Keep an eye toward the future with BI.
- Understand how current performance metrics map to future goals.
- Predict new business, enrollment, or educational trends.
Don’t forget the students!
- Use BI to improve all student service operations, including registration,
financial aid, and housing.
- Leverage data to identify and resolve academic issues, helping to maximize
student potential and improve graduation rates.