Nottingham Trent University brings greater efficiency with IBM business analytics

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LONDON, UK - 20 Nov 2009:  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Nottingham Trent University has selected IBM business analytics technology to help streamline information on finance, human resources, estate and student records. This new technology system will consolidate data from each department into easy-to-read reports and dashboards, allowing the university to make smart and effective decisions about investment and resources by drilling down into courses, lecture room capacity and academic profiles to support current and prospective students. 

Nottingham Trent University decided to use analytics technology to improve its reporting and analysis capabilities and provide more reliable information from a single central data warehouse on which to base decisions.

“Higher education is a highly competitive environment and universities are large complex organisations facing challenging times in terms of public sector spending cuts,” said James Lacey, Director of Finance at Nottingham Trent University. “The volume of data we have to process is mind boggling, including applications, enrolments, completion rates and a whole number of other metrics for some 25,000 students. Turning this mass of data into meaningful management information is not a simple task.”

With IBM analytics technology, senior members of the management team will now be able to access a single version of the truth through one central warehouse providing charts to track progress against key performance indicators (KPIs) and get a view of the university’s overall performance. Staff will have greater visibility of student numbers, financial targets, staffing levels, resource planning, as well as access to scenario planning for the future.

“It’s more important than ever that our management team has the information they need from all departments to make the best decisions for the University and its students. The competitive edge will be gained from turning the data collected into useful information that we can analyse. Many organisations rely on spreadsheets for information sharing which, by their very nature are often produced in an ad hoc manner and can lead to multiple versions. Now this will be prevented by having one central source of information accessible to all,” Lacey said.

The software will give the university access to better quality information, with consistent data that is constantly available. The management team will be able to pull reports from IBM Cognos 8 BI when they want to, and make smarter decisions to support students and staff. This will allow them to more easily monitor student satisfaction survey results and act upon them to improve university resources.

“With IBM Cognos 8 BI, Nottingham Trent University will be able to ensure it always has the most up-to-date and reliable information without running the risk of data duplication,” said Ged Simmons, country manager, IBM business intelligence and performance management, UK and Ireland. “Inaccurate reporting leads to poor management and ineffective decision-making, which would have a negative impact on a University’s future planning and its ranking in the league tables. Having a first-class intelligence system in place allows the university to continuously improve and bring benefits to its students in the long term.”

The new IBM analytics system is powered by IBM Cognos 8 Business Intelligence.

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