September 10, 2008 - Information Builders announced that over the past two years the company has seen more than 150 percent growth in its higher education business in North America.
Numerous higher education organizations are using WebFOCUS as their university-wide business intelligence (BI) standard. The nation's schools, including University of Virginia (UVA) Department of Medicine, Tarleton State University, University of North Texas and others, selected Information Builders WebFOCUS to ensure delivery of critical information across their organizations to save time, reduce operating costs and boost productivity.
"Education is the cornerstone of innovation, and more and more prestigious universities are using business intelligence technology to advance their commitment to academic excellence," said Gerald Cohen, CEO of Information Builders. "Our technology empowers these higher education organizations to better understand their data, enabling them to reduce inaccuracies, to make more informed decisions and to eliminate costly inefficiencies."
With 23 research centers, the UVA School of Medicine makes discoveries that lead to new and better therapies, including the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease and vaccine development. It successfully implemented the WebFOCUS BI platform, merging financial reports, faculty remuneration plans, statistics, data tracking and clinical billing reports. More than 300 users now depend on WebFOCUS to bridge two accounting systems and satisfy a diverse set of reporting requirements, including the ability to tightly integrate the new reports with Microsoft Excel.
"We needed a reporting environment that was easy to use and could handle the needs of our physicians, as well as our clinical and department administrators," said Elizabeth Wildman, vice chair and chief operating officer for the Department of Medicine. "With WebFOCUS, we now have a single reporting tool to take care of our most acute business needs."
Dr. Brad Chilton, interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Tarleton State University, and his team, chose WebFOCUS because it makes it easy to access and analyze current data through parameter-driven reports. Users can view, customize and create their own reports with easy-to-use tools and can graphically represent information via dashboards. They can also share information with other users via common desktop tools such as Excel, Adobe Acrobat, and any Web browser.
Tarleton State University purchased WebFOCUS in March 2006, installed the software that summer, attended training classes in October and had reports on their Web site by December. Today, the university's interactive Fact Book takes advantage of WebFOCUS, parameterized reports as well as tabular reports and graphs, giving users the option of obtaining information via HTML, PDF and Excel formats. The system accesses SunGard Higher Education Banner data as well as data from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, needed a way to extract insight from their Banner software and deliver BI to users throughout the institution to improve decision-making. It was WebFOCUS' flexibility and ease of use that initially won over the university's selection committee. Friends was impressed with WebFOCUS' structured ad hoc capabilities and how the organization could deploy flexible reporting templates without training and develop complex reports without programmers.
"It was very evident that WebFOCUS was a mature information delivery platform and the capabilities were years ahead of the competition," said Cynthia Jacobson, director of IT Business Services at Friends University. "We recognized that Banner offered a lot of advantages for our university, but we needed a business intelligence platform to deliver those benefits."
The University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) needed a way to evaluate student performance in real time and provide immediate academic assistance to ensure student success. In order to keep track of its students' performance easily, the University of North Texas Health Science Center implemented an online, student-tracking system with WebFOCUS as well.
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