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“I was looking for a reporting tool to help our senior managers and executives know the status of the major business processes with the ease of a mouse-click.”

Dr. Ahmed El-Haggan, VP of IT, CIO, & Prof of Computer Science
Coppin State University


Reporting Problems/iStrategy's Solution

Shift Toward Information-based Management
Over the past few years there has been a rapid shift in higher education towards more formalized information based planning, management and measurement methodologies. Some of the high visibility focus areas that center on information include:

  • Recruiting Effectiveness
  • Retention Improvement
  • Strategic Enrollment Management
  • Performance Management
  • Early Intervention
  • Outcomes Management
  • Course Optimization
  • Key Performance Indicators
Achieving a high performance level around these focus areas requires a structured performance management process and efficient access to accurate reliable information. While every institution collects a tremendous amount of data, unfortunately, getting access to information is not so easy.

Reporting Challenges
Many institutions are challenged by the lack of information and the inability to get information out of their legacy or ERP systems. Most student administration systems provide basic transaction reporting capabilities, but they fall short when it comes to historical reporting, management information and analysis. These complex databases are structured for transaction processing, audit trail and controls, not ease of reporting. The impact is significant:

  • There's no ability for self service access to information;
  • Users are totally dependent upon technical people with SQL expertise and knowledge to the database to produce information;
  • Reporting is a time consuming and manually intensive process;
  • Different people produce reports with the same information but have different results. What is the real answer? How do you know if the information is reliable?
  • There's no time available for analysis because of the extensive time required to produce information.

iStrategy's Vision
To provide an out-of-the-box product integrated with leading Higher Education ERP applications that enables intuitive self-service reporting and analysis of institutional information through a secure and robust application.

Our HigherEd Analytics application framework goes beyond basic reporting. Using widely adopted higher education metrics and best practices for analytics, we enable guided analysis through key performance indicators, visualization components and interactive reports. There is a rapidly growing trend toward analytical applications for business intelligence. With the right technology, the insights to see what is happening and understand why can be a reality. We also see an opportunity to improve the education process by using advanced analytics to provide early warning detection of students with academic problems, student benchmarking capability, retention analysis, course planning and other analytical capabilities aimed at directly helping students.

Value Proposition
When it comes to analytic reporting capabilities for higher education, there are not many options. The higher education ERP vendors do not offer high end solutions, and building it from scratch is a very time consuming, expensive and risky proposition. Data warehousing initiatives at most colleges and universities can easily take one or two years and quickly exceed $1 million. Independent research data has shown that quite often DW initiatives fail to deliver on the initial promise and fall well short of expectations. With our out-of-the-box solution, we can build an extensive data warehouse in days, and quickly deploy a robust reporting capability in as little as 4 to 6 weeks....and the cost is a fraction of what it would be to build a data warehouse and reporting application from scratch.

We also recognize that each institution is unique and may have information needs that we have not incorporated into our standard model. HigherEd Analytics is more than a hardwired package - it's a framework to build upon. We have extended our model to meet unique needs and business rules of our customers, and our customers will tell you that the framework is very flexible and efficient.

HigherEd Analytics can also integrate with an existing data warehouse to leverage your investment. The HigherEd Analytics database essentially acts as a data mart providing the benefits of a pre-built analytical application.

Information Scope
The information content spans the entire student information lifecycle from recruiting through graduation. The focus is on providing key measures segmented by the key dimensional attributes that apply to each category of information. Below are some of the information subject areas we provide:

  • Admissions
  • Student Term
  • Student Plan
  • Graduates
  • Registration
  • Class Schedule
  • Faculty Term
  • Student Financials
By combining the entire student information library into a single integrated dimensional database, HigherEd Analytics delivers analytical content that provides insights that are otherwise difficult to uncover - retention, admission yields, course utilization and many other metrics.

iStrategy's Vision - to provide an out-of-the-box product that enables intuitive, secure, self-service reporting and analysis of institutional information, with integration to leading HigherEd ERP applications.