Yellowfin Business Intelligence Case Study: Macquarie University

“Yellowfin is easier to consume, but without compromise”
Marc Bailey, Chief Information Officer
Macquarie University


Macquarie University seeks to deliver competitive advantage through the strategic use of its data, empwering decision-makers from across the university to:

  • Compile the most efficient and effective government reports and research grant submissions possible for regulatory bodies such as HERDC and ERA
  • Deliver the best student services possible
  • Develop effective marketing campaigns
  • Underpin strategic planning and development


Established in 1964, Macquarie University is based in Sydney, Australia, with a core strategic vision and commitment to excellence in research and teaching.

Macquarie set itself the goal of being recognized amongst the world’s top 200 research universities and among Australia’s top eight by 2014.


To realize its goal, Macquarie needed to obtain a deep understanding of its operations.

“To achieve that we need great data,” said Macquarie Chief Information Officer (CIO), Marc Bailey. “Actually we have the data, but we weren’t able to surface it.”

To make use of its vast data stores, Macquarie needed to do three things:

1. Analyze its data effectively and create a single trustworthy source of data

2. Eliminate knowledge silos

3. Make data analysis accessible to decision-makers, anywhere, anytime

“Data is a competitive issue for universities,” said Bailey. “At the end of the day the way we are ranked is very dependent on the kind of data reported to regulatory bodies, to ranking organizations, and to analysts. This means our data is critical, it is the lifeblood of performance for a university.”


Macquarie’s reporting and analytics solution ‘Datamart’, powered by Yellowfin’s Business Intelligence (BI) solution, addresses the need for deep, timely, accessible and accurate operational insight.

Macquarie now has the capability to expose and utilize the breadth of its operational data. Users can access accurate data analysis independently, through a uniform interface, via the device of their choice, no matter their location.

“Yellowfin gives us a common frame of reference,” said Macquarie Information Director, Dr Neil Fraser.

Datamart has allowed Macquarie to:

  • Compile the most efficient and effective government reports and research grant submissions possible for regulatory bodies such as HERDC (Higher Education Research Data Collection) and ERA (The Excellence in Research for Australia initiative)
  • Collate and analyze operational data in a way that empowers decision-makers from across faculties and functional areas to access and utilize up-to-date data analysis to underpin strategy
  • Analyze student information from an academic and business perspective to deliver the best student services possible, develop effective marketing campaigns as well as underpin strategic planning and development


Datamart has given Macquarie University a significant advantage over other higher education providers.

“By breaking-down departmentalized information stores, Macquarie can understand its operations like never before,” said Fraser.

Datamart has enabled Macquarie to:

1. Improve the quality of teaching and student services

2. Develop more effective marketing campaigns

3. Achieve better comparative ranking scores through submission of enhanced government research grants and reports

“If you can deliver data with high veracity and faster timeliness, then you’ve got a competitive edge. That’s exactly what Yellowfin is doing for Macquarie,” said Bailey.

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