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Macquarie University generates new insights with Yellowfin Business Intelligence

Macquarie University today launched the first phase of a university-wide reporti

ng and analytics program, Datamart.
Austin, TX, May 19, 2011 -- Datamart, powered by Yellowfin’s Business Intelligence
(BI) solution, delivers self-service data analysis to Macquarie University acad
emic and business decision-makers anywhere, anytime, on any device.
Macquarie University, based in Sydney’s northwestern high-tech corridor, seeks to
surface deep insight into its wide range of operational data, used to support th
e strategic direction of the university.
"Macquarie has a strategic goal – to be one of the top 200 universities in world r
ankings by 2014, and to be one of the top eight research universities in Austral
ia," said Macquarie University Chief Information Officer (CIO), Marc Bailey. "To
get there, we need to understand how we’re performing. To achieve that, we need g
reat data. Actually we have the data, but we weren’t able to surface it. Now Dat
amart, with Yellowfin technology underpinning it, provides us capability to expo
se that data and leverage it."
Bailey said that implementing a BI rollout, in an era of greater competition due
to the uncapping of student places, would give Macquarie a significant advantag
e over other higher education providers. He explained that university rankings
and research funding were heavily dependent on the type of data submitted to gov
ernment and regulatory bodies. Bailey also said that Yellowfin would allow Macqu
arie to improve the quality of teaching and student services based on the analys
is of student and survey data.
"Data is a competitive issue for universities. Universities are engines of data
, producing endless amounts of statistics and numbers everyday. We’ve both a capac
ity to produce it, and a thirst to consume it. When you’re trying to compare and a
ssess the performance of organizations in the private sector, you’ve got dollars a
nd shareholder value as the ultimate bottom line. When you’re trying to compare th
e performance of a university, you have data as a bottom line. So good data that
points in the right strategic direction can help you understand how you’re doing
compared to another institution. If you can deliver that data with high veracit
y and faster timeliness then you’ve got a competitive edge. That’s exactly what Data
mart is doing for Macquarie."
Macquarie University currently has three key data sets available for Yellowfin t
o report from – student data, research data and Australian graduate survey data.
"These are data sets that universities throughout Australia use to report to the
government regulators to explain or justify performance, which are directly lin
ked to funding and to student experience," said Bailey. "These are three of the
most critical data sets for government reporting and for providing the people at
Macquarie with the information they need to offer the best services possible an
d develop winning research, teaching and business strategies."
Bailey said that as a university, with many people, located in many different pl
aces, all using different technologies to access information, Yellowfin’s multi-pl
atform, multi-device self-service capabilities were paramount.
"Widespread self-service access to reporting and analytics is vital for our succ
ess as a university, and Yellowfin delivers that."
Bailey also said that Yellowfin offered the features necessary to accomplish Mac
quarie’s goal of "democratizing data."
"When we looked at Yellowfin, we saw something simpler than the alternatives. I
t’s highly intuitive and 100 percent Web-based, so it’s easier to consume, but witho
ut compromise. Ease of use is crucial. The second thing that we saw as a major
benefit was the fact that Yellowfin is one of the only BI products on the marke
t with the ability to utilize HTML 5, and therefore receive information on any d
evice or platform – Windows, Linux or Mac; iPad, iPhone or Android – it doesn’t matter
According to Macquarie University’s Information Director, Dr Neil Fraser, using Ye
llowfin to collate, analyze and report on the university’s different data sources,
will remove the reliance on spreadsheets, eliminating inconsistencies in organi
zational data, the uncertainty surrounding data accuracy, and uncover new opport
"Yellowfin gives us a common frame of reference," said Fraser. "Everyone is rece
iving the same information from the same source, analyzed in the same way. Esta
blishing a single source of truth for data within a university is a significant
accomplishment, given the complexity and diversity of operations. By breaking-d
own departmentalized information stores, Macquarie will be able to understand it
s operations like never before.
"We can now accurately map where our students are coming from and develop effect
ive marketing strategies accordingly. For example we can monitor student intake
around the world or traffic flow around the campus. We can even analyze where o
ur funding comes from based on locality – the opportunities are limitless. Yellow
fin’s geospatial intelligence technology uncovers questions, answers and opportuni
ties at a micro level and at a macro level. Being able to visualize our data is
key to discovering these types of problems and opportunities."
Yellowfin will be progressively rolled-out to a wider population, eventually off
ering most staff and even students access to a wide range of operational univers
ity data, subject to security.
To watch a short video about Datamart and Yellowfin Business Intelligence, click
About Yellowfin
Yellowfin is a global Business Intelligence (BI) software vendor headquartered a
nd developed in Melbourne, Australia. Yellowfin is a highly intuitive 100 percen
t Web-based reporting and analytics solution.
For interviews, or more information, contact:
Lachlan James, Yellowfin Communications Manager –,
03 9090 0454, 0431 835 658
Greg Welsh, Macquarie University Communications Manager –, 02
9850 7456, 0407 200 474
Press Contact:
Lachlan James
Yellowfin Communications Manager
Austin, TX