Optimizing Business Intelligence at Lehman College/CUNY: A Road to Change


  • Ronald Bergmann, VP-CIO, Lehman College/CUNY
  • Richard Finger, Director, Graduate Studies, Lehman College/CUNY
  • Lei Millman, Oracle DBA, OBIEE Admin, Lehman College/CUNY

Ron Bergmann introduced himself and touted the Frye leadership program, encouraging involvement in the program.

Lehman College

  • A CUNY school, located n the Bronx
  • About 12,000 students, with 90 graduate and undergraduate programs

BI Solutions in Higher Education

  • Big data has changed the way higher education makes decisions  takes action
  • Dynamic, easy-to-use tools have given higher education leaders more power for decision making than ever.
  • What is your road map


  • What are your key BI needs and goal?
  • Where does data reside?   How is data shared, aggregated and analyzed?
  • What tools are you using/what’s the best fit?
  • What data is important to a key customer?
  • How would you describer your data “culture?”
  • What factors support/resist changes in the use of data?

Lehman College Dashboard (LCD) – BEFORE

  • Data unconnected
  • Users did not have a reporting tool
  • Devs had limited options
  • Report development took too much time

Lehman College Dashboard (LCD) – NOW

  • BI solutions using OBIEE
  • A common ecosystem for producing/delivering enterprise reports:  enrollment, graduation, faculty workload, etc.
  • Easy access to LCD in a comprehensive format
  • Actionable data drives more informed decisions

How Did We Get Here?

  • Culture Change / Buy-in
  • Data Governance
  • Stakeholder expertise and input
  • Access to multiple existing data sources and reports (enrollments, budget/expenditures, admissions, analysis, dashboards, data sharing with other CUNY schools, etc.)

User Experience at Lehman: Preparing end-users for the BI Tool

Adoption of BI has led to big changes in culture and expectations.  It has also led to significant changes in campus processes.  This section of the presentation included many screen shots of the reports that they run.  While the reports look pretty simple, they’re really helping us with enrollment management and understanding the effectiveness of our interventions.

  • Understand the difference between official and unofficial data
  • Develop a “data dictionary” to avoid confusion
  • Articulate report parameters
  • Understand that report writing is a collaborative effort
  • Be prepared to test and modify reports in draft form

LCD Example:  One Dashboard, Multiple Data Integrations

LCD provides actionable data.  The information LCD provided allowed us to hit our enrollment targets this past fall semester.

  • Current Semester Enrollment
  • Student Retention
  • Cohort Overall Analysis
  • Student Financial Aid Information
  • Student List by Advisors, Individual Student Detailed Academic Information Dashboard

Questions / Comments

  • Can you tell us about the data governance group?  We have it, but not every office is represented.  If I had a choice, I’d get everyone on board earlier into a formal governance group.
  • Can you talk about your data dictionary?  How big is it, how do you share it?  We created 2 document, one for users and the other for IT staff.  We share the users document with the campus.
  • Do you track interventions in the system?  Not yet, but we do use it to manage our communications outreach and advisor appointments.

By Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

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