In an ever-changing market powered by user satisfaction and financial success, Higher Education institutions must focus on data analytics to improve student satisfaction and business processes. This project underlines the importance of using a powerful data analytics tool to accomplish these goals. Many Higher Education institutions already collect the necessary data in order to predict and determine key changes but still pull this information from multiple databases in individual reports without overlapping benefit or any level of efficiency. The previous systems increase the risk of user error and limit the ability for multiple departments to collaborate and gain insights found through the combination of reports pulled from a campus-wide data source. Through a review of case studies and hands-on use of IBM Cognos data analytics tool, this study addresses the already acknowledged, and also personally obtained, benefits of Business Intelligence in real world scenarios unique to Higher Education. Exceptional data management and accessibility create opportunities for improved student retention rates leading to stronger departments and higher graduation rates. While improving student retention, student satisfaction increases and the institution often attracts more motivated and qualified students experiencing an increase in admission rates. Many Higher Education Institutions are also using Business Intelligence (BI) tools to pull reports leading to options for overall cost reduction. These cuts come in the form of smarter buildings and also fewer professionals needed for creating the BI reports. This project includes the following sections: Introduction, Background, Statement of the Problem, Business Component, Technology Component, Results, and Conclusion.

Exit Requirement

Professional Project

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Management and Information Systems

Committee Chair

David Olson

Committee Member

Scot Morse

Committee Member

John Morris


higher education, business intelligence



Type (DCMI Terms)


Subject Categories

Management Information Systems

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