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From championship basketball to nationally ranked programs in public affairs and healthcare, the University of Kentucky (UK) is a popular and highly respected institution of higher learning in the USA. Today, UK uses SAP HANA to manage the advanced analytics that help support and educate 28,000 students, and improve the efficiency of 14,000 faculty and staff members.
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky, USA
US$2.68 billion (budget)
SAP Consulting (implementation partner), Dell Inc. (hardware partner)
Higher Education & Research
They call it “seeing blue” in Lexington, and the student experience is paramount to everyone at UK. “We all share the same objective,” says Vince Kellen, Chief Information Officer at the University of Kentucky, “which is helping each of our 28,000 students to be more successful here.” Helping students be successful ultimately equates to them staying in school to earn the degree they seek.
For the school’s IT staff, part of their mission is leveraging better data integration and advanced analytics to build an even stronger institution. UK is particularly interested in using its technology to help raise retention and graduation rates, optimize the use of university resources, and support “personalized education” for students.
How can the UK get the data that will actually help students stay enrolled?
You get to the point where your whole day is running reports.
As an existing customer, UK was familiar with SAP solutions. But a SAPPHIRE® NOW conference gave school leaders the opportunity to learn about something new – the SAP HANA platform.
How to make this more real-time and fast…more importantly, very, very smart
Besides the impressive rapid integration, which was a 2½-day initial setup driven by SAP Consulting and Dell Inc., the University was able to immediately integrate large amounts of data.
Consider an example of students studying at the school’s William T. Young Library, where UK administrators have a lot of information at their disposal. The school’s production system contains about 1.5 terabytes (TB) of data. Its data warehouses hold another 4 TB. But in the past, UK had to extract this data from several source systems and load it into a large Oracle data warehouse. Hours were spent each day just moving data around, leaving less time for in-depth data analysis.
By deploying SAP HANA, the university was able to retire its legacy data warehouse and accompanying software, such as its extract, transform, and load (ETL) tools. SAP HANA has also transformed the university’s ability to conduct real-time data analysis and modeling, which is being used to improve student experiences, retention and graduation rates, and to increase operational and financial performance at UK.
87% reduction in extract, transform, and load times. 80% amount of data updated in real time.
According to an analysis by market intelligence firm IDC, the University of Kentucky will gain approximately $6.17 million in benefits over the next five years, including reductions in infrastructure costs, increases in staff productivity, and business benefits such as improvements in classroom utilization and increased tuition income by raising graduation rates. Those gains represent an estimated return on investment of 509%.
average data compression
ROI after only 9 months
Acting upon a deeper understanding of specific success factors can help make a UK degree a reality for even more graduates. For example, the university now uses its analytic capabilities to quickly identify students who need additional support in their critical first weeks on campus. With early identification, the university can take steps to provide personalized services to such students.
In fact, many of the university’s data analysis initiatives directly support its goal to improve retention rates by 10%, and the university has set the ambitious goal of increasing its six-year graduation rate from 60% to 70% in the next ten years. By redefining student success and targeting it with data, IDC estimates that UK could increase tuition income by $210,800 per year over five years.
UK is also using visualizations enabled by SAP HANA to identify classroom utilization patterns. Optimized utilization means the university can accommodate greater enrollment without the need for new construction.
Continuously understanding the value of this technology and the ways we can use it.
Shrinking federal and state funding to universities could force UK to raise tuition. SAP HANA is helping UK offset these funding decreases by eliminating costs and preserving income. The university stands to gain an average annual benefit of $1.85 million per year by reducing software and hardware administration expenses, increasing staff productivity, optimizing facilities utilization, and improving student retention.