A couple of weeks ago, I wrote briefly about the universities who were using the Calumo Business Intelligence systems to improve their financial planning and modelling. In it, I quoted the Calumo figures for estimated cost savings for the universities – between $300,000 and $500,000 each.
Calumo work across lots of different markets, including finance and banking, but have a specialist for education, Mike Henegan. He’s written more about the specifics of the cost and time savings that each of the three universities mentioned is making:
The Business Intelligence implementation at the University of NSW has added a simple budget interface, that links their finance and HR systems into a single set of information for the individual users. A typical example of time and effort savings is in the production of consolidated research reporting. Research heads used to have to download individual research projects into Microsoft Excel, then perform a consolidation to be able to compare against budget. The Calumo system now automates this process so each researcher selects their search and range criteria – and one button press reduces 3-4 hours of work to just 45 seconds. With about 100 research heads saving 3 hours a month each, it’s a big benefit
The Macquarie University Business Intelligence project went out to tender, which Calumo won. They implemented a system to link financial and HR information, and 400 people use it daily. And from that, they extended to use it for their annual budget process, and regular re-forecasting processes. The key was that individual faculty teams could use their own financial models, and feed all of the data into the central finance team (reducing the need for off-system spreadsheets).
At the University of Canberra, business intelligence was first used for management reporting, budgeting and forecasting – and then extended to build a model for Student Load Planning (of the most critical, and difficult to manage elements of university financial life). That gave them better transparency in the planning process, whilst continuing to give the individual Deans direct input to the model. The result is stronger growth in student numbers, and they are already beating the 2013 targets set out in their 2008 strategic plan.