Higher Education Funding Council for England makes analytical leap with SAS

Funding council given ability to get more from its data in less time, with associated cost savings

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which distributes public money to universities and colleges for higher education teaching, research and related activities, has made significant cost and efficiency gains by switching to a new server based platform provided by SAS, the global leader in business analytics.

HEFCE's move to a seamlessly integrated SAS server based platform to conduct its internal analytics on, has allowed for much faster and more productive use of its data. In addition, the ability to offer a way of visualising public data with easy-to-use drag-and-drop software to carry out analysis has led to significant savings compared to running multiple solutions on staff desktops.

Mario Ferelli, head of analytics at HEFCE, explained: "We were moving offices and were going to have to go through some major hardware changes. Up to that point our analytics team worked from individual desktops, which meant that if a really big project was running it could leave analysts unable to use their machines for anything up to a couple of days. We realised this was an opportunity to modernise our IT systems.

"Since adopting the SAS technology we no longer have these challenges and instead of staff being tied up writing code, they can immediately pull up all the data they need, visualise that data and carry out analyses in real-time. Not surprisingly this means we're getting more from our data in less time, with reduced running costs on top."

Andy Cutler, Director of Strategy, SAS UK & Ireland, commented: "We're delighted HEFCE has decided to use SAS to help develop a deeper understanding of its data. In the information economy it's crucial that all organisations are able to properly collect and analyse that data quickly, to give them the power to know all they need to about their operations."

While SAS is supporting HEFCE in its role of funding universities, SAS also provides direct support for university teaching and research programmes through its Academic Programme. SAS recently released SAS® University Edition, free software for all learners, thereby empowering the next generation of data scientists.

SAS invests in education by making available a free online resource (SAS® Curriculum Pathways) to 400 schools across the UK. In addition 80 Universities have access at no charge to SAS software which equates to an annual investment of more than £6 million over the last 15 years.

SAS solutions deployed by HEFCE are:

  • SAS® Office Analytics, which enables users to easily access and analyse large amounts of data. Guided analysis via built-in tasks and visual process flows means SAS novices can quickly perform sophisticated analyses, schedule projects, share results and embed outputs for others to use. IT is free to focus on strategic initiatives while dynamic, interactive content can be published to Microsoft Office and web users.
  • SAS® Visual Analytics, which is part of SAS' suite of high-performance analytics solutions, and enables organisations to easily map out and understand analytic insights and share those with employees and customers across an organisation. It delivers rapid in-memory analysis for quicker analysis, and interactive dashboards for reporting in-depth data visualisation.


About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 83,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

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