The university implements Oracle Digital Assistant to improve the student experience and help address inquiries with automated, real-time information.
“LUie currently provides hundreds of answers to common questions. Early results were impressive with initial accuracy rates of 86% that improved to 91% after the Oracle Digital Assistant upgrade. Pilot feedback was encouraging with 91% positive comments, and we continue to broaden LUie to handle even more questions for more audiences. We’re excited about LUie’s future potential.”
Loyola University Chicago (LUC) is a private Jesuit Catholic institution founded in 1870. Students come to Loyola not only for its excellent academic programs but also for its commitment to service, leadership, athletics, and global engagement.
To support nearly 17,000 undergraduate, graduate, and adult students, LUC has been using Oracle PeopleSoft Campus Solutions—referred to as LOCUS, or Loyola Online Connection to University Services—as its student information system since 2004 and upgraded to Campus Solutions 9.2 in 2018.
LUC sought to improve its student services with a focus on providing answers, help, and support for student inquiries no matter the student’s location and whether offices were open. Oftentimes, students were seeking support during non-core business hours. LUC’s leadership knew that using advanced technology, integrated into its core administrative solutions, could help the institution provide students with access to information in a real-time, digital environment whilst also managing its staff’s time more effectively.
Further, the institution wanted to have a comprehensive AI platform, offering a modern contemporary experience that would expand its knowledge base and scale as awareness increased.
With nearly 17,000 students seeking more timely and more modern engagement, we established a technology strategy to advance the Loyola Digital Experience. The transformational theme includes leveraging artificial intelligence and deployment of LUie, an AI digital assistant running on Oracle Digital Assistant with automation and integration from IntraSee.
Why Loyola University Chicago chose Oracle
With LOCUS as the primary administrative system for students, it was imperative that the digital assistant could integrate with LOCUS while extending its capabilities. The university’s team, working closely with its implementation partner IntraSee, knew that Oracle’s PeopleSoft integration framework could capitalize on the integration between PeopleSoft administrative systems and Oracle Cloud.
LUC used Oracle Digital Assistant and the PeopleSoft Chatbot Integration Framework to build and deploy its digital assistant, LUie, in just six weeks. LUie is a moniker for Loyola University and its Rambler Wolf mascot.
During the initial pilot in 2019, the chatbot answered a limited number of questions from several targeted LUC website pages and had an answer success rate of 86%, with 91% of pilot participants sharing positive feedback. Additionally, the chatbot was available 24/7, responded in a matter of seconds, and was able to process queries in multiple languages.
By the summer of 2020, LUie had officially been rolled out to all undergraduates and had been expanded to include even more questions that did not require authenticated access.
Because of its integration with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, the assistant can extract personalized information directly from LOCUS in real time. By adding the chatbot within the Fluid instance of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions in Spring 2021, the utterances with LUie increased significantly and account for a third of all LUie activity.
LUC found that LUie has markedly improved the student experience by providing answers to questions when students most need them, and ultimately, meeting the initial challenge the LUC team sought to mitigate. Amid this success, the pandemic environment was offering new opportunities to leverage LUie as an integral tool in the university’s ecosystem to continue improvements to student experiences but also to help address inquiries from faculty, staff, parents, and prospective families.
The peak of LUie’s utilization was in August 2021, when after more than a year of online learning, students were preparing to return to campus after the pandemic. Having access to important information was an essential requirement for students and staff to navigate through the new normal and LUie was well positioned to handle those inquires. Whether it was students or staff requiring information on COVID-19 policies and testing facilities on campus, or simply wanting to know their class schedule, LUie was able to help answer those key questions.
The LUC team continued to monitor the data and usage rates of LUie and applied that information to expand the platform’s knowledgebase. As of 2021, LUie’s content expanded to include 430 questions across numerous departments and was rolled out to all constituent groups for general inquiries and to more than 11,000 undergraduate students for authenticated access to the student system. Initial analysis showed that Loyola lowered its cost per transaction from $4.25 to $0.29 and reduced the percentage of match-fail transactions from 33% to 2%.
In recognition of LUie’s success, Oracle awarded Loyola University Chicago with a PeopleSoft Innovation award.
Loyola University of Chicago selected IntraSee to help with the integration.