Universities save much-needed cash with the help of technology


UC officials said IBM analytics have helped save money for the university system, which has 228,000 students and 180,000 faculty.
UC officials said IBM analytics have helped save money for the university system, which has 228,000 students and 180,000 faculty.

An analytics system designed to manage risks and improve security has saved the University of California’s 10 campuses and five medical centers more than $160 million since 2006, officials announced March 25—helping the university system cut costs during an economic crisis that has crippled campus budgets.

The universities in the UC system have used IBM’s analytics software since 2006 to better aggregate massive amounts of data from the 228,000-student system and help administrators target wasteful spending and isolate dangerous areas on campus that result in injury or operation failure.

Using IBM’s Enterprise Risk Management System program, UC officials said decision makers at every campus and medical center have been able to mine the system’s database and spot trends, such as pushing and pulling injuries at medical centers.

Once that trend was found in the data, officials could purchase new, safer equipment and launch training programs designed to limit the number of pushing and pulling injuries and accidents. Making decisions based on these statistics, which appear on a computer-based dashboard, has reduced injuries by 39 percent and cut insurance costs by $167.8 million over the past four years, officials said.

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Denny Carter

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