Background

Drake’s enterprise data resides in Banner©, an integrated information system that encompasses Finance, Human Resources, Student, Alumni and Financial Aid modules. Since implementing Banner as the University’s enterprise-wide data system in 2003, Drake has relied on data retrieved directly out of this system. With limited ability to build reports in the system, refining the data to suit various needs is done by end users in inconsistent, complicated ways.

Unfortunately, retrieving reports from Banner isn’t always easy due to the system’s limited ability to tie together data from different modules and the difficulty of knowing where to find data. In addition, as more data amassed over the past decade, system performance is beginning to be compromised in ways that challenges efficiency of decision-making.

Under this system, accessing data means working with IT to script a “query,” a complex statement for retrieving information from Banner. Queries often run through the entire database overnight, for users to then browse volumes of reports to find the needed information. The process can take days, and accuracy can be a problem ⎯ variations in the written queries sometimes lead to inconsistent results.

With blueCube, the University is changing the way it accesses and uses information.

BlueCube, Drake’s implementation of Blackboard Analytics, is a data warehouse solution that includes predefined data models, reports, and analytics. The result is instant retrieval of information that is consistent, accurate and is able to make meaningful connections between complex, varied arrays of data, enabling Drake to use existing information in more complex ways.

 

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