Nottingham Trent University is set to standardise is business intelligence on IBM Cognos 8 Planning, and is moving away from spreadsheet-based reporting.

The move is part of a bid by the university to improve the data it retrieves, so that it can keep track of performance under its five year plan, through which it is attempting to improve degree results, student satisfaction and accommodation.

Using the new system, the university will be able to run virtual scenarios to help it make key decisions, such as which courses to run, how many lecturers to hire or how many student places to offer. The rollout is being managed by teams from the IT, finance, HR and registry departments.

James Lacey, finance director at the university, said the “quality of information” was important so that staff could “make the right decisions”. This was particularly important as the higher education market is increasingly competitive, the university said.

The university is understood to be one of the largest in the country, serving 24,000 students.

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