Challenge

The University is operating in a competitive regional market where the deregulation of fees coupled with increasing competition for traditional regional markets, is presenting the challenge of increasing student enrolments and halting the decline in student retention.

The University Management put in place a number of initiatives but has been frustrated by an inability to measure and predict the effectiveness of these using available information and technology.  Repeated across the University it reflects the inability of existing technology to support business strategies, and specifically the lack of access to a single and comprehensive view of information.

Situation

University data sits across many systems and in numerous databases.  These included PeopleSoft, Oracle, Postgress, MS SQL, Access, and in Excel and CSV files.  Little of this data was joined, making simple tasks like tracking students though their University life almost impossible.  Understanding whether changes made to enrolment process or scheduling were delivering any impact into exam results and re-enrolment.  It was also discovered that much data was in fact hidden in MS Access, being used to in accurately report to the Governing body.  Additional challenges were faced with incorporating unstructured social media data into the solution.

Solution

In addition to a range of Information Management strategies bing deployed, the university deployed fraXses to initially complete a range of data discovery activities.  These included exploring all data silos, feeds and sources to establish what data existed.  Matching the actual data to create a single view of it through a mixture of federating the different sources and creating a data lake for others.  By creating a single view of the data for the University Management it provides a decision support solution that provides information consistency with clear governance and accountability.  It has improved access and use of the data, delivered efficiency gains though higher levels of integration and lowered the total cost of ownership.  Overall there is a competitive advantage being delivered through leveraging information across the different business areas.