Grush, M. (2010) BI Today: More than Just a Big, Fat Report Campus Technology, January 13

First a declaration of interest: my son is a senior designer/manager of business intelligence software for Oracle. However, I do believe that business intelligence software will become an increasingly important development in higher education, allowing all key decision-makers to analyse institutional data according to their needs.

This article focuses on its use by senior administrators, which is an obvious client group. But I believe that the people who will get the most benefit from access to business intelligence tools will be the front-line instructors. For instance, if I am preparing my teaching, can I get demographic data for the last five years for students who enrolled in this course or program? Can I play around with this data by different categories of students? How does this relate to grades? Can I customise my teaching to the needs of different categories of student?

Vista allows for some analysis of data on how students use WebCT/Blackboard, but it is not as easily accessible or comprehensive as through standard business intelligence tools, which would allow individual instructors, heads of department, deans and senior administrators to link teaching and administrative data, once installed.


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