Oracle Improves Decision-Making at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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Oracle Improves Decision-Making at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Apr. 2 /PRNewswire/ --

  Oracle(R) Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Provides Foundation for
                         Personalized Data Dashboards

    REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., April 2, 2008

    --  Oracle(R) today announced that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is
        using Oracle Business Intelligence solutions to help users define,
        analyze and interpret data stored in its Oracle data warehouse.
        Rensselaer has significantly increased the accuracy and reliability of
        data and has created dashboards that deliver secure, personalized data
        to more than 650 users -- facilitating improved planning, forecasting
        and decision-making.
    --  A major research institution with campuses in Troy, N.Y. and Hartford,
        Conn., Rensselaer needed to provide its faculty and staff with timely,
        accurate data for university operations.  However, the institution's
        previous paper-based system produced inaccuracies in data and often
        resulted in duplicative efforts and significant delays.  Further,
        various departments could not agree on basic definitions, such as what
        was considered a full-time student, leading to inaccuracies when
        comparing data between departments.
    --  Rensselaer built a data warehouse on Oracle Database, cleansing and
        unifying data across the institution and storing it in one secure
        location.  By centralizing its data in one data warehouse, the
        university improved its data quality, ensuring consistency and
        availability of information.
    --  Over time, Rensselaer developed business intelligence dashboards in a
        number of critical areas to provide users with real-time, role-based
        access to data from the 130 GB data warehouse that helps them better
        perform their duties.
    --  Rensselaer's dashboards provide users with data on current and past
        years, enabling them to view high-level information and drill down
        into specific data points.  Dashboards include:
         --  Admissions - Provides information on applicant demographics and
             statistics, enabling users to analyze trends such as admissions
             quality and selectivity, student retention rates and inquiry-to-
             application rates
         --  Student registration - Provides information on enrollment,
             courses and grades, allowing the university to examine classroom
             capacities and teaching loads
         --  Financial aid - Monitors student financial aid, indicating type,
             duration, source and amount of assistance for each student and
             providing university-wide figures
         --  Financials - Compares actual performance to budgets, providing
             users from all departments with daily insight into remaining
             budget.  Also displays a detailed breakdown of labor expenses,
             especially helpful for work performed against research grants
             where the project lead needs to track administrative versus
             teaching labor expenses
         --  Human resources - Displays data about faculty and staff, helping
             the university track trends such as diversity, turnover rates and
             workforce aging
         --  Research - Presents data on research income, expenditures, yields
             and cost sharing by sponsoring agencies, disciplines, schools and
         --  Advancement - Provides staff with insight into which alumni are
             donating and how much, as well as tracking specific campaign
         --  Compliance - Monitors compliance against internal processes and
             identifies instances where an administrator needs to correct
             errors before distributing suspicious data

    --  With the dashboards in place, Rensselaer is taking the next step to
        improve performance management, by analyzing the institution's data
        versus internal and external benchmarks and key performance indicators
        (KPIs).  This benchmarking is helping the institution improve
        decision-making and forecasting.  For example, the admissions
        department can quickly create a report that compares Rensselaer's
        diversity statistics with peer institutions' data or displays the rate
        of inquiry-to-application over the last five years.  Because users
        spend less time gathering data, they can spend more time analyzing it
        -- and putting it to use -- to create new ways to more effectively
        attract the most qualified applicants and turn inquiries into
    --  Rensselaer selected Oracle for its data warehouse and business
        intelligence project through an in-depth process involving 20 staff
        members from various university departments.  The group chose Oracle
        because of the breadth of its offering, encompassing a reliable data
        warehouse platform and advanced intuitive business intelligence
        applications, as well as the natural flow between the technologies.

    Supporting Quotes
    --  "Rensselaer has demonstrated how the value of an institution's data
        increases when users are able to leverage the information to measure
        their performance and identify areas to focus on and improve.
        Oracle's data warehouse and business intelligence tools help higher
        education institutions like Rensselaer gain the necessary insight for
        making informed, strategic decisions," said Robert Santimauro, group
        vice president, Oracle Higher Education.
    --  "Our data warehouse and business intelligence project is unique
        because of its scope.  Our entire culture is evolving from crunching
        numbers to measuring performance and asking 'what does this data mean
        to us, now and in the future?'  Oracle provides the required breadth
        and functionality to support our unique needs and help us leverage
        data to improve performance," said Ora Fish, acting director,
        Integrated Administrative Computing Services, Rensselaer Polytechnic

    Supporting Resources

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