Data & Analytics

Illinois State Taps Partner for Major Data Transformation Work

As part of a multi-year initiative to replace "aging technology systems and allow for easier reporting and data analysis, Illinois State University has gone public with its use of data movement software.

LEAPForward, as the university's program is called, began in 2011 as an ambitious effort to update the use of technology on campus. Faculty would gain better access to student information, class rosters and teaching schedules. Staff would get real-time reporting, streamlined processes and easier access to student data. And students would enjoy single-sign-on access to information in systems used for admissions, registration, housing, dining, financial aid, and academics.

The institution is using Informatica PowerCenter to transform and group data from its legacy mainframe into the formats needed by the new Oracle student information system. That SIS will provide users with a single interface for accessing student information. PowerCenter will also serve as the data integration foundation for the university's new data warehouse.

"Informatica PowerCenter is a foundational part of our project, not just in building integrated data marts but in transforming and expanding them down the road to meet new demands for information, while also easily maintaining what we have," said Beth Ladd, director of business intelligence for the university. "Overall, our use of Informatica will help make Illinois State's business intelligence organization more nimble as we continue to make our data assets more accessible and applicable to more people across the organization."

In the future, the institution expects to update its human resources and finance systems, and PowerCenter will be used in that work. In addition, Informatica's software will also help the school integrate information from external sources, such as census data and data from statewide longitudinal systems and other public data sets to aid in identifying and recruiting students identified as most likely to benefit from attending the university.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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