Higher Education Funding Council deploys SAS big data analytics

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which distributes public money to universities and colleges for higher education teaching, has deployed an SAS server-based platform to conduct more efficient data analytics.

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The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), which distributes public money to universities and colleges for higher education teaching, has deployed a SAS server-based platform to conduct more efficient data analytics.

The solution, said HEFCE, supports "much faster and more productive use of 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, said: “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."

He said: “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.”

A shared data centre to support the requirements of university research was recently set up with funding of around £900,000 from HEFCE.

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