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Business Intelligence

On any university or college campus, information is held in numerous content-related, department-specific applications. For example, HR likely has its own system that allows staff to easily access information through a primary portal; accounting may be set up the same way. And so it goes throughout the campus, with departments utilizing their own systems to conduct business.

Higher One has achieved Oracle Validated Integration of its CASHNet payment processing suite 2012.2 with Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions 9.0. With this integration, colleges and universities, as well as students and parents, are able to easily process payment anytime, anywhere using the CASHNet payment processing suite. To achieve Oracle Validated Integration, Oracle partners are required to meet a stringent set of requirements that are based on the needs and priorities of the customers.

If you still watch TV with commercials, you may have seen an ad recently talking about using data to improve your business—the bakery that mined its sales data to discover that people buy more cake on rainy days, for example. Everybody’s talking about “big data” and “data science,” basically applying sophisticated analytic techniques to large datasets. And one of the things they’re doing is predictive modeling—using historical data to make predictions about the future.

The fact that every campus has a human resources department could lead to inefficiencies within large university systems. Or at least that’s how officials at the University of California saw it. The system is consolidating routine payroll, benefits, leave management, and workforce administration functions from across 10 campuses at a single location near the Riverside campus.

Have you heard about the analytics revolution in higher education? Ready or not, it’s coming to your institution—if it isn’t already there. Whether you work in an academic, business, IT, marketing, or web office, the data-driven movement is slowly but surely making its way in to the hearts and minds of top executives faced with serious strategic and financial challenges.

Think this is just wishful thinking from the higher education online analytics evangelist I’ve become over the past two years?
Educause begs to differ.

What kinds of collaboration tools are being used by higher ed administrators for more efficient execution of projects these days? Here are a few examples:

Students, staff, faculty, and alumni are frequently in need of support for special projects, curriculum collaboration, and technology. Helpdesk solutions for IT administrators have been widely adopted among larger institutions to streamline IT support. But, with tight budgets, there’s a need for a streamlined, collaborative workflow that allows staff, support specialists, department heads, administrators, and professors alike to be more productive, in a shorter period of time and with less staff.

Even for smaller colleges and universities, managing personnel records is often onerous. Now imagine having to do this for thousands of full-time and part-time faculty, sprawled across 17 schools and colleges. This was exactly the situation facing the staff at the University of Southern California (USC) Office of the Provost. By 2005, the Provost’s Office was drowning in mountains of paperwork and struggling to become more efficient.

The workplace shouldn’t feel like a scavenger hunt, where you’re constantly on the prowl trying to locate this document or that contract. And yet many college and university employees spend countless hours doing exactly that. There are better and more cost-effective ways for staff to spend their time. 

“Colleges and universities are always looking for ways to be more efficient, and there are lots of strategies they’re employing,” says Bill Dillon, executive vice president of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO). The membership organization, based in Washington, D.C., represents more than 2,500 colleges, universities and higher-education service providers.