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Leveraging Dashboards for Enhanced Decision-Making in Higher Education

Leveraging Dashboards for Enhanced Decision-Making in Higher Education

In today's fast-paced higher education landscape, staying ahead requires more than just traditional approaches to data management. Dashboards have emerged as a powerful tool for IT professionals in higher education, offering a myriad of benefits that drive institutional effectiveness and student success. Let's delve into the key advantages of incorporating dashboards into your institution's strategy:

Data Visualization: Dashboards provide a visually intuitive representation of complex data sets, empowering administrators, faculty, and staff to grasp trends and patterns at a glance. This visual clarity enables informed decision-making and facilitates data-driven strategies.

Performance Monitoring: By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as enrollment rates, graduation rates, and student retention, dashboards offer real-time insights into institutional performance. Identifying areas for improvement becomes seamless, allowing for proactive adjustments to enhance overall effectiveness.

Real-Time Information: With dashboards, stakeholders gain access to up-to-date information on student enrollment, admissions, financial aid, and more. This real-time visibility enables swift responses to emerging issues, fostering agility and adaptability within the institution.

Enhanced Collaboration: Dashboards serve as a centralized platform for sharing data across departments, promoting collaboration and communication among different stakeholders. This collaborative environment fosters synergy, leading to more cohesive decision-making and coordinated efforts.

Improved Student Success: By monitoring students' progress and identifying at-risk individuals, dashboards facilitate targeted interventions to support student success. Whether it's academic assistance or personalized guidance, institutions can proactively address challenges and promote student retention.

Resource Allocation: Dashboards offer insights into resource utilization, empowering institutions to optimize the allocation of financial and human resources. This ensures efficient resource management, ultimately enhancing the student experience and institutional effectiveness.

Compliance and Accountability: Dashboards play a crucial role in tracking compliance with regulations and accreditation standards, providing evidence of adherence when needed. This ensures accountability and instills confidence in stakeholders regarding institutional integrity.

In conclusion, dashboards are indispensable tools for IT professionals in higher education, driving informed decision-making, institutional effectiveness, and student success. Embracing this technology equips institutions with the agility and insight needed to navigate the complexities of modern academia successfully.

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Driving Profitability: The Power of Business Intelligence in Manufacturing and Distribution 

In the landscape of manufacturing and distribution, staying ahead of the competition demands strategic decision-making backed by actionable insights. Let’s explore how implementing a Business Intelligence (BI) solution can significantly benefit your company not only by enhancing operations but also by boosting profitability through accurate and timely data. 

The Profit-Boosting Benefits of Business Intelligence: 

  • Operational Efficiency and Cost Savings: Efficiency is synonymous with profitability. BI solutions streamline operations by identifying inefficiencies, reducing waste, optimizing resource allocation, ensuring quality control, and organizing timelines. Whether it’s identifying cost-effective suppliers, minimizing production bottlenecks, or improving shipping logistics, the result is a leaner and more cost-effective operation.
  • Demand Forecasting and Inventory Management: Accurate demand forecasting is a game-changer for manufacturing and distribution companies. BI tools analyze historical data and market trends to anticipate demand accurately. This, coupled with optimized inventory management, ensures that businesses meet customer demands without overstocking or understocking, ultimately saving costs and increasing revenue.
  • Enhanced Sales and Marketing Strategies: Business Intelligence empowers sales and marketing teams with actionable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and market trends. By tailoring marketing strategies based on data-driven insights, companies can attract and retain customers more effectively, resulting in increased sales and revenue.
  • Improved Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty: Satisfied customers are more likely to become loyal patrons. BI tools enable manufacturing and distribution companies to understand customer preferences, track satisfaction levels, and address issues promptly. This personalized approach not only enhances customer experience but also fosters long-term relationships, contributing to sustained revenue growth. 
  • Strategic Partnerships and Negotiations: Armed with comprehensive data on supplier performance, market trends, and internal operations, manufacturing and distribution companies can negotiate better deals with suppliers. This strategic approach to partnerships ensures favorable terms, reducing costs and positively impacting the company’s financial health.  

Implementing a Business Intelligence solution is not just an investment in technology; it’s an investment in profitability for manufacturing and distribution companies. The ability to harness data for strategic decision-making, operational efficiency, and customer satisfaction directly translates into increased revenue and sustained growth. Embracing BI is a strategic move towards a more profitable future. 

Learn more about driving profitability here: https://entrinsik.com/informer/manufacturing/

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The Secret Sauce to Insurance Agency Success: Policy Retention 

While the insurance industry often has its eyes set on chasing down new clients, let’s talk about the real gem hiding in plain sight—policy retention. It is like the hidden treasure chest of your agency’s long-term success and growth. In this blog post, we will have a casual chat about why policy retention is the unsung hero and how it can become your agency’s prosperity cornerstone. 

 

Example of Policy Retention Data Visual from Informer

 

1. Steady Cash Flow 

Think of policy retention as your trusty cash cow. When your clients renew their policies, it is like a constant stream of income that keeps your agency’s ship sailing, even through the stormy economic seas. 

2. Money in the Bank 

Guess what? Acquiring new clients is not cheap; it is like buying a one-way ticket to the budget-squeeze train. Marketing, advertising, and all those fancy sales efforts can burn a hole in your agency’s pocket. But keeping existing clients happy? Now, that is cost-efficient. It is like saving money on that cup of coffee you brew at home instead of hitting up the fancy café every morning. 

3. Fans Become Family 

High policy retention rates are a badge of honor, showing off your agency’s knack for meeting and exceeding your clients’ expectations. Happy clients do not just stick around; they turn into your biggest fans. They renew their policies and shout your praises from the rooftops, bringing in even more business through word-of-mouth. It is like having your very own marketing squad working around the clock. 

4. Cross-Selling Goldmine 

Do not overlook the goldmine that your existing clients represent. When you truly get to know them, their needs, and their ever-changing life situations, you can tailor your offerings to fit them like a glove. Not only does this boost retention, but it also pumps up your revenue per client. It is like finding buried treasure right in your backyard. 

5. Master the Data Game 

To become a policy retention wizard, you must master data-driven insights. Dive into that treasure trove of historical data to uncover the juiciest trends. When are clients most likely to jump ship? What types of policies are the crown jewels of retention? With the right tools, you can craft smart strategies that keep your clients hooked. 

6. Stand Out in the Crowd 

Having a high policy retention rate is like donning a superhero cape in the insurance world. When potential clients check you out, they are not just looking at your superhero costume (read: fancy marketing); they are scanning your track record. Highlighting a history of satisfied, long-term clients sets you apart from the competition. 

So, there you have it, —policy retention, the unsung hero in the insurance agency success story. It’s not just about a steady cash flow or saving on your budget; it is about turning clients into lifelong fans, tapping into hidden opportunities, and using data to your advantage. By giving policy retention the attention it deserves and delivering an exceptional customer experience, your agency can hoist the flag of success and set sail for a prosperous future, even in the stormiest of markets. Informer can help you create your business’s secret sauce!  Click here to view an example.

Ready to Unlock the Secret to Agency Success? Schedule Your Demo Today!

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Telling the Story in Higher Education with Data Visualization

Data visualization is a game-changer for administrators in the Higher Education sector. It offers a compelling and concise way to convey critical insights and information. In this article, we’ll explore how data visuals can effectively tell a story and why they are indispensable tools for managing complex data in higher education environments.

Highlighting Trends and Patterns:

In the world of higher education, staying on top of trends and patterns is essential. Data visuals, such as line graphs, bar charts, and scatter plots, can uncover hidden insights that might go unnoticed in raw data. IT administrators can use these visuals to track the growth of network usage, identify potential cybersecurity threats, or spot trends in student enrollment.

Providing Context and Comparison:

For IT administrators responsible for managing diverse datasets, context is key. Data visuals offer a means to compare different datasets and showcase historical data trends. By presenting data side-by-side or overlaying multiple lines on a graph, administrators can better understand the significance of data points in relation to each other. This can be invaluable when assessing the impact of technological upgrades or budget allocation.

Engaging Through Storytelling:

Interactive dashboards are a powerful tool for higher education IT administrators. These dashboards, enriched with data visualization, can create compelling narratives that help administrators make informed decisions. For example, they can explore data on student engagement, track the performance of e-learning platforms, or monitor the effectiveness of IT infrastructure upgrades.

Presenting Data Intuitively:

In the world of data, clarity is paramount. Well-designed data visuals ensure that complex information is presented intuitively, making it easier for administrators to grasp key insights. Using appropriate colors, shapes, and visual cues, data visuals guide administrators’ attention to critical points, facilitating better data comprehension.

Facilitating Data Exploration:

Higher education administrators often need to dig deeper into complex datasets. Interactive data visualizations equipped with filters, sliders, and drill-down capabilities enable them to explore data at their own pace. Whether it’s analyzing network traffic patterns, system performance, or user behavior, data visuals empower administrators to uncover valuable insights.

Simplifying Complex Information:

Managing data in higher education involves dealing with a wealth of intricate data. Data visuals simplify this complexity by breaking it down into digestible components. Whether it’s presenting analytics on classroom technology usage or optimizing resource allocation, data visuals help administrators make sense of intricate data with ease.

Data visualization is a must-have tool in the toolkit of higher education administrators. By harnessing the power of data visuals, they can make data more accessible, engaging, and memorable. These visuals simplify complexity, unlock insights, and empower administrators to make informed decisions that drive positive outcomes in the ever-evolving landscape of higher education.

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Predictions for 2024: The Future of Higher Education

In higher education, a confluence of technological advancements, pedagogical shifts, and societal changes continues to reshape the landscape. Drawing insights from the data of the past year, we can discern the emerging trends that are poised to define the trajectory of higher education in 2024. From innovative technologies to teaching methodologies, here is a forward-looking analysis of what the future holds for higher education.

Individualized Learning Pathways and Adaptive Technologies

Higher education institutions are at the forefront of embracing data-driven approaches to personalize the learning experience. In 2024, we anticipate a surge in the integration of adaptive learning technologies that harness artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. These tools will enable universities to tailor educational content to individual student needs, fostering a more nuanced and personalized educational journey.

Expansion of Hybrid and Online Learning Models

The transformative impact of the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of hybrid and online learning models in higher education. In 2024, we expect these models to become more sophisticated and pervasive, offering students greater flexibility in how they engage with academic content. Universities will invest in robust online platforms, ensuring that the virtual component complements traditional classroom experiences, creating a harmonious and flexible learning environment.

Immersive Technologies: Virtual and Augmented Reality in Higher Ed

The incorporation of immersive technologies, such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), is poised to revolutionize higher education. In 2024, these technologies will move beyond experimental phases, finding applications in fields such as medicine, engineering, and the arts. Virtual laboratories, simulated real-world scenarios, and interactive experiences will enhance the depth and practicality of learning, offering students a more enriched educational journey.

Elevated Focus on Graduate Employability and Practical Skills

Higher education institutions will increasingly prioritize the development of practical skills and industry-relevant competencies. In response to the evolving job market, universities will collaborate with industries to design curricula that not only impart academic knowledge but also cultivate the soft skills and practical acumen demanded by employers. Graduates in 2024 can expect to emerge as well-rounded professionals ready to navigate the complexities of their respective fields.

Rise of Micro-Credentials and Lifelong Learning Initiatives

The demand for continuous learning and upskilling will drive the prominence of micro-credentials and lifelong learning initiatives in higher education. In 2024, universities will offer modular courses and specialized programs to cater to the diverse needs of learners seeking targeted skill development. This shift towards more flexible and accessible education pathways will empower individuals to pursue ongoing education throughout their careers.

As we approach 2024, the higher education landscape is poised for transformative change. From personalized learning pathways to the integration of immersive technologies, institutions are adapting to the evolving needs of students and the demands of a rapidly changing world. By embracing these trends, higher education can continue to serve as a beacon of innovation and empowerment, preparing students for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Learn more about Informer’s solutions for Higher Education here: https://entrinsik.com/informer/education/

 

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Business Intelligence vs. Traditional Reporting: Understanding the Difference 

In recent years, Business Intelligence (BI) has emerged as a superior alternative to traditional reporting methods for data-driven decision-making. Here are the reasons why BI outshines traditional reporting: 

1. Real-Time Insights 

Traditional Reporting: Delivers historical data on a fixed schedule, hindering timely decision-making. 

BI: Offers real-time access to dynamic data, empowering organizations to respond promptly to changing circumstances. 

2. Interactivity and Self-Service 

Traditional Reporting: Provides static reports with limited user interaction. 

BI: Empowers users to create customized dashboards, explore data, and generate Ad-hoc reports without IT intervention. 

3. Data Integration 

Traditional Reporting: Often maintains data silos, limiting the holistic view of an organization. 

BI: Integrates data from various sources, breaking down silos and providing a comprehensive understanding of performance. 

4. Predictive Analytics 

Traditional Reporting: Primarily focuses on historical data, making it challenging to incorporate predictive analytics. 

BI: Incorporates predictive capabilities, enabling organizations to forecast trends, identify opportunities, and mitigate risks. 

5. Cost Efficiency 

Traditional Reporting: Involves manual data entry, formatting, and slower processes, increasing costs. 

BI: Automates data collection, analysis, and reporting, reducing time and expenses. 

In today’s fast-paced business world, Business Intelligence stands as the best reporting choice, offering real-time insights, user empowerment, data integration, predictive capabilities, and cost efficiency. By embracing BI, organizations position themselves to thrive in the data-driven age, making informed decisions that drive success and competitive advantage. 

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Better Decisions With Better Reporting for Ellucian Banner

In today’s data-driven business environment, organizations need to have access to relevant information at the right time. That is where business intelligence (BI) solutions help. Informer is a BI solution designed for higher education users to connect to their specific data sources to generate reports, dashboards, and analytics. 

Informer is particularly useful for institutions using Ellucian Banner, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution for colleges and universities. Informer enables Banner users to easily access, analyze, and combine data stored in the Banner system and other data sources, allowing them to gain actionable insights.  

One benefit of Informer that sets it apart from other BI solutions is its user-friendly nature. Informer empowers end-users to create reports and dashboards without relying on IT. Business users can quickly and easily generate the insights they need to make informed decisions rather than waiting for IT to develop custom reports, often saving limited IT time and resources.  

Informer can show many types of insights based on the data stored in Banner. Some examples of insights that Informer can provide include:  

  1. Enrollment Trends: This includes application, admission, and student enrollment patterns over time, including the number of students enrolled, the programs they are enrolled in, and their demographic data. These insights can help institutions identify areas where they may need to invest resources to improve enrollment.  
  1. Financial Health: Informer can help institutions track their financial performance, including revenue, expenses, budget variances, and fundraising. Informer assists in identifying areas where schools may need to adjust or allocate resources to ensure financial sustainability.  
  1. Student Performance: Some examples of student performance metrics include grades, retention rates, and graduation rates. Identifying at-risk students and areas where the institution may need to provide additional support to students can improve academic success.  

By using Informer in conjunction with Ellucian Banner, institutions can empower end-users to generate their own reports and dashboards, enabling them to make informed decisions based on real-time data to improve learning. Click here to learn more about how Informer can help your institution.

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How Informer 5 Enhances Ellucian Student Systems

Background

Colleges and universities consist of multiple schools (Business, Law, Arts, Science, etc.), each having many departments with substantial reporting and data integration requirements. These departments include the Registrar’s Office, Institutional Research, Financial Aid, Academic areas, Student Accounts, Finance, Admissions, and HR.

Many of these institutions run their operations using Ellucian Colleague or Ellucian Banner ERP systems. These solutions provide functionality that includes:

  • Admissions, scholarships, and financial aid
  • Student information such as inquiries, applications, student addresses, prior schools attended, SAT scores, grades, GPA, majors & minors, hours completed, and graduation information
  • Information on all classes
  • Accounting and finances, fixed assets, A/R, A/P, and vendor information
  • HR and payroll
  • Alumni information.

Reporting Challenges with Colleague and Banner

The file systems within these ERP solutions are known to have significant complexity. For example, Colleague is built on a UniData MultiValue database, which operates differently than SQL. It has complexity associated with the database schema, file structures, mappings, and more. As a result, institutions hire IT specialists to create standard and custom reports. Users still might not get the correct data in their reports because it’s possible to find 6 or 7 very similar field names. IT must also be involved if reporting and data integration needs to be changed.

Without having a user-friendly point and click interface in Colleague, analyzing data is often challenging for end-users, especially when the data is continuously changing.

Institutional leaders also face decision making challenges caused by the lack of standardized reporting between different schools and departments. What’s required is a reporting and data integration system that provides:

  • A single source of truth for data across the institution
  • Standard selection criteria for reporting
  • Consistent reporting formats.

Due to the challenges mentioned above, administrators often resort to using multiple manual processes. Many times, administrators create reports manually because data is in different systems or they don’t have access to the data. For example, some administrators print all the transcripts to identify and report on who is graduating, which takes much time. Not only does this significantly increase the length of time to create reports, but it also increases the likelihood of errors. They can do this in 5 minutes with Informer 5.

Creating a Self-Service Knowledge Center with Informer 5

Informer 5 makes it quick and efficient for people to access real-time data to perform analysis and produce reports and visuals that users can interact with by grouping, sorting, filtering, and more, despite these ERP systems having a tremendous number of data fields and complicated schema. Informer 5’s functionality and ease of use are also the top benefits that institutions appreciate.

Institutions quickly transition from being a heavily IT-dependent reporting environment to a self-service knowledge center with Informer 5. Management and staff find the new reporting and data integration capability a significant game-changer. They create reports, run them when they want, and share them securely with everyone soon after Informer 5 implementation.

People also find it much easier to share reports with their colleagues thanks to Informer 5’s ability to embed dashboards containing exceptional visuals. Many schools use dashboards for reporting because users find them convenient for getting all the information they need on one screen.

Automating Reporting Workflows with Informer 5

Informer 5 is an indispensable tool for departments to schedule their day-to-day work. For example, schools use Informer Reports to identify students who have their enrollment information either ready to be packaged for review or highlighted if the information is still missing. Reminders are then automatically sent to the students.

Informer 5 also makes it easy to merge criteria for reporting. For example, administrators at some institutions spend multiple days manually gathering data from different systems to create a report that identifies honors and probation students and drafting individual letters to those students. Informer 5 removes that complexity by automating the process. Users complete this process within a day by selecting the criteria for merging data, downloading the information into Excel, and then using the data with Word and Mail Merge.

Institutions also use Informer 5 to support their quality control initiatives by keeping departments informed if something out of the ordinary happens. For example, users can schedule Reports that say, “give me the students when certain information doesn’t match or where the social security number is missing.” Managers can also have a Report that isolates specific records that need to be reviewed instead of reviewing all the data.

Informer 5 Provides a Single Source of Truth

Colleges and universities often choose 3rd party applications to augment some of Colleague or Banner’s functionality, including:

  • Salesforce for contact management
  • ADP for payroll
  • Workday for HR/payroll
  • Slate CRM for Admissions recruitment
  • Raiser’s Edge for fundraising.

Information contained within these different systems creates the need for a single source of truth for reporting. With Informer 5, users no longer need to run separate reports in each application and then combine the output manually. Informer 5’s Datasets automatically blend this disparate data to create a centralized, curated data hub for analysis and reporting.

Informer 5 facilitates effective data governance by providing cleansed and standardized data that users can access to create their reports, such as pivot tables and charts.

Lastly, Informer 5 also supports an institution’s security initiative. For example, IT can lock down users with criteria that determines who gets access to what and when, and how much of it they get. IT also maintains control by authorizing users to access, generate, and share reports with confidence.

Summary

Some colleges still lack adequate and efficient reporting tools. Consequently, people who need information are dependent on IT and may wait many days, or even weeks, for reports. Alternatively, the ability to retrieve data from multiple sources, transform it and create a self-service reporting and analysis environment for end-users results in timelier, data-driven decisions.

Colleges and universities throughout North America have found Informer 5 to be the ideal business intelligence solution. Integrating data from Colleague and other systems to create a centralized data hub — one that is curated and secure for reliable analysis and reporting — is invaluable for not only management decision making, but also employee morale and productivity.

Learn More

To learn more about Informer 5’s many capabilities, please call 888-703-0016, or contact informersales@entrinsik.com.

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