Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a research-intensive university with globally acknowledged strengths in science and engineering. Founded in 1955, NTU today has four colleges with 12 schools, and three autonomous entities, the National Institute of Education, the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, and the Earth Observatory of Singapore. NTU provides a high-quality global education to more than 21,700 undergraduates and 9,400 graduate students. The student body includes top scholars and international olympiad medallists from the region and beyond. Hailing from 55 countries, the university’s 2,700-strong teaching and research staff bring dynamic international perspectives and years of solid industry experience. Tracking the student lifecycle Like any other educational institution, NTU is required to provide management reports relating to students’ curriculum and activity – the entire “student lifecycle” – on a yearly basis throughout their time at the university. Pulling all this information together was tedious, time consuming and involved a lot of manual effort to generate the reports.
The University’s IT department struggled with improving the delivery of the information, but developing reports using NTU’s existing application systems was not easy and took a large amount of effort. The administrative staff needed to use Excel spreadsheets on this outdated data extensively to meet their reporting requirements. These issues often hindered users from acquiring sufficient data to perform trend analysis for decision making.
The Chief Information Officer, Mr. Lau Kai Cheong asked the Deputy Director (Applications), Mr. Ng Terk Meng to find the best solution to resolve the issue. “We wanted a tool that could be quickly deployed and was easy-to-use. We needed to provide our management and users with quick access to timely information and wanted a solution that would take little effort to be implemented and with a minimal and smooth learning curve. This ultimately led us to choose QlikView,” Mr Ng recalls. Within four weeks and with minimal training, the Admissions Office staff was able to generate the reports they needed. Using QlikView, they could quickly and thoroughly analyze admissions statistics and know immediately the status of applications and acceptance, as well as the enrollment at the University. The reports showed detailed program information for the administrative staff to conduct comparative analysis of these statistics over a span of years and to forecast curricula and staffing requirements. They were also able to track the academic progress and employment status of students after their graduation, e.g. how many continued their graduate studies, how many sought employment and how long it took them to secure their first job. Even salary trend reporting is now being tracked with the use of QlikView.
Financial performance and accountability
Another area that saw immediate improvement with QlikView was financial reporting. As a publicly-funded university, NTU is required to provide a variety of reports to Singapore’s Ministry of Education on its financial performance – in the areas of budgets, staffing and resource planning. With QlikView, financial data is now easily accessible by NTU management and users in real time. It has reduced the development work and discrepancies between the disparate data sources. Data is now reliably consistent and accurate across the University. End users can conduct ad hoc queries and customize analysis on their own, without the need of IT support. “The one thing that stands out the most about QlikView is the ease of use which we were able to turn all the data into usable and actionable information,” adds Mr. Ng. “Time and effort spent on report generation and distribution has been significantly reduced – by as much as 50 %.”
“We’re happy with our decision to deploy QlikView in the University,” continued Mr. Ng. “We’ve already experienced a strong, positive response and feedback from the users and expect much more. Moving forward, we plan to use QlikView to delve even deeper into the information on student lifecycle – tracking things related to student life such as extracurricular activities and housing. We are also looking at using it in other strategic departments such as HR.”
"The one thing that stands out the most about QlikView is the ease of use with which we were able to turn all this data into usable, actionable information."Mr. Ng Terk Meng
Deputy Director (Applications), Nanyang Technological University Company Profile Region: Singapore Revenue: N/A Industry: Education/Non-Profit Function: Finance, Human Resources, Service & Support, Operations