Customer Use Case

"We gained data insights, understanding student performance to help prevent dropping out."

Birgitte Merris-Vejlund, Consultant Student Services, Metropolitan University College

Metropolitan University College

College of applied sciences based in Copenhagen, Denmark with programs in Danish and English

Business Challenges

  • The university’s management and board members needed a tool to help them track student performance more effectively and get accurate numbers on student retention and completion, which are key performance indicators in higher education. These numbers are also used to calculate university rankings and are therefore vital for establishing higher education’s competitive landscape
  • To extract the data of the 10,000+ students from the student information system, a task that had previously been carried out manually in Excel. This process put limitations on the amount of detail that could be analyzed
  • Needed a tool that made it easy to create static reports and also enable ad-hoc reporting and analysis with drill down capabilities.

Pentaho Solution

  • Pentaho Data Integration (PDI) was used for the Extract Transform Load (ETL) process to extract the data from the student information system for further reporting and analysis
  • Pentaho Reporting is used to generate static reports for the board members and the university management and for ad-hoc reports and drill down capabilities

Value Added

  • PDI has slashed the time it takes to prepare the data from the student information system for reporting and is much less error-prone than the old manual process
  • Pentaho drill-down reporting capabilities and the ability to apply different filters gives a much more detailed view on each data point, which helps the university to better understand the causes of drop-outs and enables it to take concrete measures to improve student retention and completion. It further enables them in an easy way to get an overview of the current student population and streamline the activities accordingly, for example attract more male students or younger students
  • Currently two analysts prepare the reports for the university management and the board members twice a year. If needed, they also generate ad-hoc reports. The university plans to use Pentaho’s user console to enable board members and management self-service reporting. The university also plans to use Pentaho for financial controlling in the future.

Why Pentaho

  • Easy to connect to other IT systems, including the student information system
  • Granularity of drop-down capabilities
  • Easy reporting and analysis for analysts and also self-service reporting capabilities for university managers