Edith Cowan University

Australian university uses insight gained from advanced analytics to attract and retain students

Published on 17-Dec-2012

"The solution will help us not only to identify those students who might terminate their studies early due to difficulty, but also those who are most likely to pursue graduate level studies. We are able to proactively help both these groups thanks to this early identification." - Brad Francis, Edith Cowan University

Customer:
Edith Cowan University

Industry:
Education

Deployment country:
Australia

Solution:
BA - Business Analytics, BA - Business Intelligence, BA - Performance Management, BA - Predictive Analytics, Big Data & Analytics, Big Data & Analytics: Customers, Big Data & Analytics: Operations/Fraud/Threats, Data Warehouse, Information Governance, Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet:
Smarter Education

Overview

Established in 1991, Edith Cowan University (ECU) has more than 27,000 students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Approximately 5,500 of these are international students originating from over 90 countries, pursuing a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate studies in areas including arts, business, computing, education, health, law and science.

Business need:
In a competitive higher education market, ECU relies on its ability to attract and retain students. However, ECU was facing challenges with its existing information management system that precluded it from achieving excellence in managing, understanding and using available student data. Siloed systems and differing data definitions resulted in ad hoc data management and lack of visibility. The University needed to clean up its data and introduce a business analytics optimization platform that could help it better utilize existing student information to improve services and attract students.

Solution:
ECU first embarked on a project to standardize existing data across the University. It then gained visibility into that data when it implemented an analytical platform that can mine student data for key information, produce reports and provide the University with greater insight into its student body. The new platform is paving the way for a proactive project to gain insight into student attrition. The solution gives the University the ability to accurately plan and prepare for its future through insight gained about trends in enrollment and student demographics.

Benefits:
Reduces the time for running complex queries on student data by about 150 percent, from up to 12 hours to mere minutes; Dramatically improves the accuracy of the student load-planning models ECU uses to anticipate future staffing, resource and facilities requirements; Provides the University with a clear picture of enrollment, helping with broader business-focused, data-driven projects

Case Study

Based in Perth, Australia, Edith Cowan University (ECU) has more than 24,000 students, including 5,000 international students from over

90 countries, pursuing a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate studies in areas including arts, business, computing, education, health, law and science.

The Opportunity
In an increasingly competitive higher education market, Edith Cowan University (ECU) relies on its ability to attract and retain students. However, ECU was facing challenges with its existing information management system that precluded it from achieving excellence in managing, understanding and using available student data. Siloed systems, and differing data definitions across departments and faculties, resulted in ad hoc data management and lack of visibility to the bigger picture. Even simple questions like “How many students do we have and where are they sourced from?” often required complex reporting efforts that could take several hours. The University recognized it needed to clean up its data and introduce a business analytics optimization platform that could help it better utilize existing student information to improve services and attract students.

What Makes It Smarter
The ability to provide the best services to existing students and attracting new ones is the hallmark of an excellent university. ECU first embarked on a project to standardize existing data across the University. It then gained visibility to — and the ability to use — that data when it implemented an analytical platform that can mine student data for key information, produce reports, and provide the University with greater insight into its student body. The new platform is paving the way for a
proactive project to gain insight into student attrition. Using advanced analytics software, ECU can analyze past data about students who prematurely terminated their studies. The University will then be able to put remedial programs in place to proactively engage with those
students to address their issues. Finally, the solution gives the University
the ability to accurately plan and prepare for its future, financially and
physically, through insight gained about trends in enrollment and student demographics.

Real Business Results
• Reduces the time for running complex queries on student data by about 150 percent, from up to 12 hours to mere minutes
• Dramatically improves the accuracy of the student load-planning models ECU uses to anticipate future staffing, resource and facilities requirements
• Provides the University with a clear picture of enrolment, helping with broader business-focused, data-driven projects

For More Information
Please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner. Visit us at ibm.com/cognos.

To learn more about Edith Cowan University, visit www.ecu.edu.au.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Cognos TM1, Cognos Business Intelligence, SPSS Statistics, InfoSphere DataStage, InfoSphere Information Analyzer

Service:
GBS BAO: Business Analytics and Optimization Strategy, GBS BAO: Enterprise Information Management, Software Services for Information Management

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States December 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com Cognos, Global Business Services, InfoSphere and SPSS are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.