Technology Association Provides Self-service Benchmarking Tool to Members

  • Replaced manual reporting process that required hours to complete
  • Provided self-service tool that gives instant access to insightful dashboards
  • Built system using Qlik analytics platform on AWS cloud server

Company Background

EDUCAUSE is a higher education technology association and the largest community of IT professionals committed to advancing higher education. EDUCAUSE supports those who use information technology for strategic decision making within the realm of higher education, actively engaging with colleges and universities, corporations, foundations, government, and other nonprofit organizations to further the mission of transforming higher education. 

Problem

Twice a year, EDUCAUSE sends elaborate and detailed surveys to thousands of its member institutions as well as undergraduate students and faculty members from all over the globe. Results are published for all members to review, with the ability to compare their results against other institutions. Until recently, processes to compile and publish survey results were completely dependent on EDUCAUSE staff – they would compile response information, export it into Excel and .PDF, and then email several attachments to data users. Each request took hours to complete, and two full-time employees were dedicated to the effort. EDUCAUSE needed a more automated, self-service reporting tool that allowed association members to retrieve survey responses as desired without depending on overburdened EDUCAUSE staff.

Solution

Analytics8 worked with EDUCAUSE to build a reporting and dashboard system using Qlik as the analytics platform built on a cloud server with AWS. The solution pulls data from multiple sources, including EDUCAUSE’s “Data Lake,” netFORUM (an association management system), an SQL database maintained by a third party, and Excel. Users access the solution via the EDUCAUSE Web portal, but Single Sign On is passed onto the Qlik application, and only one login is required.

Results

Educause replaced a manual reporting process that required the dedication of two full-time employees and many hours to complete with a self-service tool that gives data requesters instant access to insightful dashboards or raw data.

The self-service tool allows members to access and download survey results with comparisons and benchmarks as a PDF summary or as raw data to enable further analysis. The dashboard provides role-based access to data and the ability to view, search, and filter data as desired. Additionally, requesters don’t have to rely on EDUCAUSE to get updated data; the system reloads are scheduled and run autonomously so that data remains current. These increase efficiencies have allowed EDUCAUSE staff the time to focus on other priorities.

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