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The Opportunity: Create A Data-Driven Organization to Improve Student Success
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology is one of the largest colleges is Canada with 10 campuses across the greater Toronto area and 26,500 full-time and 70,000 part-time students. Cristian Durca, Director of Information Solutions, manages all of Seneca’s software applications, including campus solutions, learning management systems, and internal finance and HR applications. He was looking for a way to improve access to data and get faster insights from all systems to enhance effectiveness of the business groups and deliver ad hoc reporting to the executive level. Data enables the college to improve student success by understanding the evolution of students from application to graduation and beyond.
Challenges: Time to Insights, Ad hoc Query, and Disparate Data
Seneca’s data challenges were extensive: the BI reporting system tied to their ERP implementation had canned reports not relevant to their business, it was difficult to customize content, and it took a days to create and publish even one report to production.
In addition, executives frequently had ad hoc requests for information that required a fast way to analyze many data elements and explore different metrics on the spot with them. And each department had specific requirements for the performance metrics they wanted to track that required a flexible way to visualize data.
Finally, data is located in multiple source systems, including their ERP, the learning management system, as well as cloud and custom applications. Without a centralized data warehouse, their next analytics system needed to connect to all their data sources.
“With Tellius automated data discovery, we’ve cut down the time to analyze data and present answers to executives and department administrators from days to minutes.”
– Cristian Durca, Director of Information Solutions, Seneca College
- Augmented Analytics. Cristian’s team saw the software automatically discover insights from data that the system was not trained on. In addition, search-driven analytics would enable business users to get answers quickly and without help from IT.
- Architecture. The Tellius architecture offered the fast performance they were looking for with in-memory data processing, allowed them to connect and bring data together from multiple sources, and could scale well beyond their target of 100s of GB of data.
- Ease of use. It was very easy for Cristian’s team to build presentations with data visualizations quickly and with little training. It was also easy for the executives and department heads to interact with the data and get answers to their own questions.
“Tellius improves data access for business users and analysts, easily answering new questions and revealing new insights with little or no training.”
Augmented Analytics for the Win
Automated key driver analysis was critical to helping Cristian’s team optimize the student admission process. Within minutes of data analysis, the software revealed which parts of the process was lagging behind, which areas were doing well, and which students were most likely to enroll. The findings were eventually confirmed by the business and was a win for the team.
Automated data discovery will be increasingly important to Seneca as they bring more data from disparate sources into their analysis. Augmented analytics will enable them to easily identify patterns and anomalies hidden in their data across the student journey to help them improve the student experience.
Search-driven analytics is key to building a data-driven culture at Seneca. In addition to the interactive dashboards and reports that every department uses to monitor their key performance metrics, BI search gives administrators and executives a way to quickly answer new questions on their own.
Download the Seneca Success Story in PDF.