Industry: Education, Higher Education Who: ADIUT, the Association of Directors of French Technological Institutes in Universities (IUT) Contacts: Mickael Spennato, Statistical Analyst, and Christophe Viton, Director of the IUT Lyon 1 and Vice-President of ADIUT.
Christophe Viton is one of 114 IUT Directors in France. He heads the IUT Lyon 1, one of the largest faculties at the University Claude Bernard, which is among one of the largest Universities in France. The IUT network represents approximately 145,000 members. The two-year program is designed to prepare students for the University Diploma in Technology (DUT). They also offer professional degrees (bac+3) and, for a small number of them professional Masters’s Degree. Some IUTs also offer a three-year program with License Degrees.
Today, Christophe Viton, Vice-President of the Association of IUT Directors (ADIUT), works with Mickael Spennato, Head of Statistical Analysis for the association. Among their various responsbilities, Mickael and Christophe have to set up demographics analysis for the IUTs (student recruiting, student performance, career paths, …).
Under Christophe & Mickael’s leadership and for the past year, online & fully interactive dashboards have been made available to the 114 IUT Directors.
Their need: to see the trees and the forest to communicate a unified message to the supervisory authorities
Each director needs performance indicators to position their Institute’s results in context against local IUTs but also at the regional and national level. These indicators include economic and demographic analysis of applicants, students performance and success, as well as their career paths.
Benchmarking and better understanding of performing and nonperforming programs allowed better communication between all stakeholders and the creation of agile action plans for each Institute. These plans were aligned with the global strategy communicated to the higher authorities enabling the implementation of improved programs.
Before: A time-consuming process of multi-site analysis to aggregate
Performance indicators and dashboards are designed by Mickael. Before BIME, Mickael was using Excel but the reporting was difficult to share across the global network: each analysis and each chart related to one IUT was copied in a custom powerpoint presentation. The lack of interactivity and the replication into 114 copies was tedious and time-consuming.
From a data source standpoint, there are still multiple Excel files that are aggregated from numerous surveys conducted throughout the years. Queries are performed on the historical dataset at least once a week.
This analysis is presented during general assemblies to the board of Directors, as well as to the academic higher authorities.
Why Cloud BI?
According to Mickael Spennato, "our initial choice was not necessarily directed towards a Cloud-based solution, but after much research, it finally seemed obvious. The Cloud is fast to test, fast to execute and fast to implement. You can’t even really call it implementation as it was immediately available online for each of the IUTs.
Information systems are so different from one site to another, but the Cloud allows us to overcome this, to go faster, and create more applications after showing so much reactivity. "
Data volume was not the No. 1 issue in this case, accessibility was.
In addition to the value of immediate access despite the geographical spread of the IUTs, choosing BIME and Cloud BI took place at a key period in the life of the IUT Network as they had to adapt to a new law for Higher Education programs (editor's note: passed by the previous Minister) and expected to improve the number of candidates from Technical High Schools getting a higher education degree at the IUTs. In order to respond much more quickly, in a unified, reasoned and quantified manner, data analysis has become crucial.
BIME allows them to respond faster than ever before. "Updating the figures so quickly and sharing them online from the browser is very professional and modern. This adds value to our network" adds Christophe Viton.
The impact of BIME: increase of collaborative analysis
"BIME allows us to go beyond a simple data visualization solution. This is a real business intelligence platform. BIME allows sophisticated calculations and navigation into our data through Drill/Down, Drill/Through capabilities which enable further analysis." The analysis and dashboards are "easy to achieve", the information is richer, and allows us to spend more time on the analysis. The tipping point also comes from the ability to work together in the same dashboard environment, at the same time, as in the office suites available online like GoogleDocs for example. "Using the platform and building analysis is very collaborative and Directors are fond of it. The analysis was not as detailed before and did not allow for such dynamic exchanges" recalls Christophe Viton, also adding that "direction was clearly improved. We tested other Cloud BI solutions but BIME was clearly the winner, very robust and user-friendly. "
How much time to set it all up ? "We are not even in the before / after comparison, it’s another level"
"The decision was pretty long on our side, we had to test several solutions, and define our budget for this project," said Christophe. It took us about 6-7 months to make a decision but from the moment we got the green light, we were up and running in just a month with personalized and secured BIME Dashboards for all the Directors in the IUT network”. Mickael showed the Directors and the other stakeholders in the network (130 collaborators) how to use BIME and he is keeping them informed about the new analyses available.
For Mickael, "Before BIME, it took about 1 day per district to produce fixed KPIs, and about 1 week to provide updated information to 10 Directors... with BIME, it takes a day maximum to make up a sophisticated dashboard that immediately serves 114 Directors thanks to the Cloud. "
Favorite features: Navigation to the details of the underlying data, online.
“The Decompose, Drill / Down & Drill/ Through features are particularly appreciated by the Directors”. Michael points out that "the ability to see what is behind a graphical selection in terms of raw data reassures some Directors attached to a spreadsheet visualization. They can additionally download the file to rework it internally. All this is very intuitive and is the sinews of adoption.” The fact that each element in a BIME Dashboard is also a "widget" is a real plus for Mickael because it allows him to work on a specific analysis within a dashboard, playing with the data independently, testing new scenarios or juggle with different datasources. And because BIME offers traditional Office-like features, users can easily copy / paste the most complex objects across dashboards or infinitely undo/redo their last actions.
Next steps? Open these analyses up to the outside.
More & different types of analysis
Mickael has already begun to create management and budget analyses. Today, this is still experimental and only applied to the IUT Lyon 1. In this case, data is extracted from SAP. Through its numerous connectors to many online or on-premises databases, BIME can already go further into the employees database to establish staff dashboards for specific HR use cases.
Open up more analysis to the outside
The team is now looking into opening their analysis beyond just the IUT network, to better communicate with students and enhance the innovative character of the IUT through a tool like BIME. They are also thinking about the different settings that might enable a modern distribution of the analyzes, directly from retweets for example.
Reply on a wider level to national educational issues
The University system goes through a self-evaluation every 5 years. Mickael and Christophe wish to aggregate a much larger data set for the IUTs (funds, capex, finances, human resources, ..). Data exists but in hundreds of non-centralized Excel files. They wish to facilitate this ambitious project through a single online entry form fueling a relational database that BIME could connect to. For what purpose? To demonstrate (or not) the benefit of an educational program over time, correlating this with statistics of nationwide graduates in order to be more accountable, and drive better and improved programs... than can benefit the french youth.
Christophe Viton’s wishful thinking is a better communication between Secondary and Higher education with this kind of data collection, aiming to answer one critical question: is Secondary training tailored to what is expected at the Higher level?
The Ministry of Education requested this approach to be able to understand what are the key drivers to success for young people, and this may happen using Cloud BI for better control upstream.
"The Ministry asked us to meet a challenge: to analyze our data and leverage it to better understand the ‘big picture’. It’s done today, and successfully. We can even grow our project, in terms of access to more numerous and different data sources ... while meeting the needs of our IUT Directors throughout. "
"Congratulations to the BIME team for their reactivity and the strength of the solution."
Thank you Mickael Spennato and Christophe Viton for your testimonial.