Virginia Tech is embarking on a multi-phase data analytics initiative, beginning with the implementation of a new, user-friendly business intelligence tool that will provide improved business data reporting and analysis. 

The tool will enable academic, research, and administrative analysts to gain insight and make better decisions.

Universities are often rich in data, but the ability to access, merge, and analyze this data  often lags behind, resulting in the loss of a large proportion of its potential value. To address this, Virginia Tech began in 2011 to research business intelligence alternatives, developing a request for vendor proposals that outlined the university’s needs. 

As a result, Virginia Tech entered into a partnership with MicroStrategy, a provider of enterprise software platforms for business intelligence, mobile intelligence, and network applications.

MicroStrategy’s business intelligence system will integrate data sources, allow more detailed queries, and empower users to explore their data and generate business-critical reports and analysis, while maintaining data security.                                  

Debbie Johnson, manager of business intelligence services, will lead the implementation. 

“The system offers the university a significant opportunity to better leverage its data to improve decision making and increase effectiveness in all mission areas," said Scott Midkiff, vice president of information technology and chief information officer. "The fact that all faculty, staff, and students can access the BIS is especially important as it provides a tool for computational thinking across the university.”

The initial application of the new BIS focuses on data from the Student Perceptions of Teaching surveys, and will be completed by December 2014. Business Intelligence Services is also establishing a user support community and developing plans to make the new tool available to additional departments and data sources. Access and use of data will continue to be managed through the university’s Administrative Data Management and Access Policy (Policy 7100).

For more information on the business intelligence system implementation, visit the Business Intelligence Services website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.