The University of Hertfordshire is a leading business-facing university that aims to be innovative and enterprising, challenging individuals and organizations to excel. The University was awarded ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year 2010’ by the Times Higher Education (THE) and ranks in the top 4% of all universities in the world according to the recent THE, World University Rankings.
The university offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a full range of subject disciplines and enjoys international recognition for original high quality research. With a student community of more than 27,700, including more than 2,500 international students, it also has a global network of more than 165,000 alumni.
In recent years the University of Hertfordshire undertook a comprehensive replacement program for its core systems. Previously, it operated a combined system for student records, finance, and human resources, but the university decided to replace this with best-of-breed applications for each of the separate functions. Meanwhile, the University of Hertfordshire continues to run its main production databases on Oracle’s SPARC Enterprise M8000 servers, using Oracle Real Application Clusters to ensure maximum scalability, availability, reliability, and speed.
As part of its replacement program and to meet strategic requirements for key performance indicator (KPI) reporting, the university needed to standardize reporting on one platform. It chose to implement Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition to provide detailed, real-time reports taken from a range of sources and delivered to management in a standard, easy-to-access way. Access to this information will help the university achieve its strategic goals in an increasingly competitive and financially challenging environment.
“We chose Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g for two reasons, said David Ford, chief technology officer, University of Hertfordshire. “Firstly, we already had a number of Oracle systems in place including Oracle Database. And secondly, Oracle Business Intelligence proved the most cost-effective option for us."
The University of Hertfordshire worked with Oracle Specialized Gold Partner Beyond Systems Ltd to implement Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition after Beyond demonstrated its detailed knowledge and experience. A key requirement was to ensure the necessary knowledge-transfer about the Oracle business intelligence solution to university staff, and Beyond worked diligently to assist in this aim.
“In any BI project, it is always difficult to get the definition right at the start,as users and managers may be unaware of the new system’s capabilities,” said Martin Ayre, data warehouse consultant, University of Hertfordshire. “We developed a prototype as a starting point but there was a very steep learning curve. Beyond helped us through this learning curve and brought valuable knowledge and experience to the project. The Beyond team was always helpful, flexible, and understanding to ensure we achieved the optimum efficiency gains from our initial deployment of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition.”