The Collegiate Economic Analysis (CEA) business intelligence (BI) suite helps collegiate business officers, deans, and central administration with financial planning and reporting needs related to net tuition—tuition revenue less financial aid. Users create fiscal-year budget estimates and monitor them by comparing projections to actual revenue and student aid expenses.
The CEA was released in 2017 in conjunction with a new university budget model and has been utilized by central and collegiate budget officers 9,384 times since its launch. Prior to the initiative, budget planning primarily occurred in the Central Budget Office. The Central Office and collegiate business officers used tools such as Microsoft Excel or Access for financial planning, and methods varied.
A successful proposal for General Education Funds for the project allowed Administrative Information Systems to develop the CEA, with sponsorship from the Office of the Provost and the Central Budget Office. The tool brought together information that allowed deans and business officers to more easily review financial scenarios and make budget decisions together. The CEA BI tools were enhanced for fiscal year 2019 as the university budget process evolved and budget ownership shifted to colleges.
Gordon Tribbey, assistant dean for finance and administration in the College of Law, says the tool has been exceptionally valuable in tuition revenue projections and collegiate financial planning overall.
“Because the new budget model has given the colleges much greater financial responsibility for their tuition revenues, it is imperative that collegiate budget officers have the necessary tools and data to work with to then create projections and develop our short- and long-term strategies based on those data and projections,” Tribbey says. “The Collegiate Economic Analysis business intelligence suite has been a terrific addition to how I think through our current and projected tuition revenue streams.”
A new release of the CEA BI solution is planned for fiscal year 2020, with improved data in both actuals and projections to better support collegiate net revenue planning and monitoring needs.