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MHEC Agreement Gives Institutions Lower-Cost Access to SAS Viya's AI-Powered Analytics Platform

The Midwestern Higher Education Compact has partnered with AI and data analytics provider SAS to allow academic institutions in 47 states to access SAS’ Viya unified analytics platform at a significant discount, the organizations announced today at Educause.

The new agreement expands the collaboration between SAS and MHEC, providing new tools to connect data from multiple systems and identify actionable data for institutions in MHEC’s 12 member states as well as institutions in other regional compacts, according to the announcement.

“With access to Viya, the company’s cloud-native AI and analytics platform, MHEC members can now seamlessly manage, integrate, report, visualize and analyze data from multiple systems, all within a single, unified and open platform,” MHEC said. “SAS will offer secure hosting and administration to ease administrative burdens, allowing institutions to focus on connecting data and answering questions to drive real change for students.”

MHEC said its members “will receive discounted pricing as well as terms and conditions that are better than most higher education institutions can negotiate individually. … Additionally, through agreements with other regional compacts, institutions in 47 states will have access to a variety of tools and technologies to generate insights into the quality, accessibility, and affordability of education.”

Viya was built to enable higher education institutions to make better use of existing data from many different agencies and sources in order to improve student recruitment, retention, and outcomes. MHEC touted the new partnership as a significant step in its goal to champion “collaborative efforts between schools, governments, and industry.”

MHEC said the new SAS agreement will enable members to:

  • Utilize data analytics to gain insights into student success, academic achievement, and operational processes

  • Make data-driven decisions through statistical algorithms, artificial intelligence, and machine learning techniques

  • Enhance administrative functions, human resources, and facilities and financial operations with visualization reporting solutions

  • Deliver self-service information for stronger connections between students, faculty and staff

MHEC represents colleges, universities, K–12 school districts, and school and government agencies through an interstate compact to develop and support best practices, collaboration, and cost-sharing opportunities; the organization also pools resources through agreements with other regional compacts, covering 47 states in all.

Member states of MHEC are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Institutions in member states and in states belonging to partner regional cooperatives — including New England Board of Higher EducationSouthern Regional Education Board or the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education — can visit MHEC’s website for eligibility to participate in the contract.

Attendees at Educause in Chicago can learn more about SAS Viya in action, during a session scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, October 10; “The Value of an End-to-End Analytics Platform in AI Implementation and Data Analytics Modernization” will showcase how Virginia Tech is using SAS Viya to improve efficiencies across operations.

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About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].

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