Each year, thousands of people across Kentucky begin their educational journey at the colleges of Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), which includes 16 individually accredited public two-year colleges. KCTCS aims to prepare its students to take the next step toward their future—whether that means a new job or continuing education at a four-year college.
KCTCS’ leadership needed readily-accessible, useful business and student data to make more informed decisions. However, the institution was using a 10-year-old, unsupported business intelligence system based on Cognos products and denormalized tables. That system’s foundation was heavily customized, and it did not provide the flexibility required to take the school system into the future. KCTCS wanted to upgrade to a business intelligence data warehouse system with the capability to integrate data on students (taking courses for credit and noncredit), employees, contributors, and accounts and fixed assets.
KCTCS chose Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to address these challenges. The organization worked with BI Consulting Group on the implementation, building a dozen dashboards—focused on KCTCS’ key performance indicators (KPIs)—for student, workforce, contributor, and account data. The new system enables KCTCS’ senior leadership to move further toward data-based decision-making. Because it is Web-based, it also saved technical staff labor, as KCTCS did not need to install a client on each computer.
Currently, over 4,000 full-time staff and faculty and more than 150,000 students access the PeopleSoft transaction system each year. Approximately 800 staff members have access to the new reporting system, which provides a more powerful data architecture and comprehensive reporting tools. KCTCS also relies on Oracle Premier Support and My Oracle Support to troubleshoot any issues.
KCTCS chose Oracle’s PeopleSoft applications and Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition due to their tight integration with existing applications. The institution also greatly benefits from My Oracle Support.
“With My Oracle support, we can search the KnowledgeBase articles for solutions developed for other customers and, if clarification is needed on those articles or Oracle product documentation, we can submit a service request (SR) which quickly puts us in touch with knowledgeable staff,” said Jim Phillips, System Director, Information Management, Kentucky Community and Technical College System “When we can’t find a specific topic in the knowledge base, we also use SRs to get advice, which is more authoritative than the traditional public forums. We are also looking forward to exploring the new (to us) “Communities” resource in My Oracle Support for ideas and advice.”
Because KCTCS had a limited staff of four for the implementation, the organization worked with Oracle Partner BI Consulting Group to replace its 10-year old student reporting system, which was based on Cognos products and normalized tables. The team began the implementation in late 2007, completing the first dashboard, for executives, on time in early 2008. Since then, KCTCS has rolled out a dozen dashboards focused on tactical and operational reports, as well as the system’s KPIs.
“We are very happy with the team from BI Consulting Group. We still work with one of its consultants on an almost full-time basis.” Phillips said.