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Wayne State U Deploys Analytics with SAS and Hadoop

Wayne State University in Michigan has implemented a big data analytics system to improve its reporting system for student data and finances.

Previously, when staff wanted to create a new report, they would have to "meet with IT, write a ticket, explain in detail what we need, and then lay out the variables," said Mark Byrd, assistant vice president of budget, planning and analysis at Wayne State, in a news release. The lengthy process and non-drillable reports made it challenging to use data to guide the decision-making process.

To solve these issues, the university implemented SAS Visual Analytics with Hadoop. Hadoop is an open source software framework for storing massive amounts of data and running applications with enormous processing power, according to information on the SAS site, and SAS Visual Analytics lets users explore data visually using interactive reports and dashboards that highlight key relationships, outliers, clusters and trends.

Administrators and staff at Wayne State now use SAS Visual Analytics' interactive reports and dashboards to analyze information such as revenue, spending, admissions and student performance for trends and use it to inform the decision-making process.

"The time savings alone with SAS makes an enormous difference," said Byrd. "SAS advanced in-memory processing combined with Hadoop's distributed storage allows us to access and analyze data quickly."

Clarification: Wayne State would like it known that it has not completely replaced its legacy reporting system but has "moved many" but not all "of its reports to SAS Visual Analytics...."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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