University of Sydney taps Talend, AWS, Cloudera & Wipro to modernise data environment

University of Sydney
Image courtesy of The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is using Talend Cloud to power its new data foundation in the cloud, according to a press release by Talend. Data from multiple sources converge into the University’s Modern Data Environment (MDE), which provides real-time learning analytics to understand and measure student performance and resource usage to optimise operations.

The University recognised the importance of bringing together their data sources to support future decision making. As a result, its Institutional Analytics and Planning (IAP) team was tasked to build a center of excellence for data and analytics for the University. At the heart of its data-driven strategy was the need to build a more robust data foundation, the MDE, which provides the foundational technology and processes to support the University’s future ambitions.

Modern Data Environment

The MDE consists of Cloudera’s Apache Hadoop distribution, CDH, running on AWS infrastructure. Data is extracted from a variety of on-premises software, SaaS applications and siloed source systems using Talend Cloud. It is then stored in AWS S3 buckets. Other third-party data sources can also be plugged directly into the environment where required. The implementation of the infrastructure was well-supported by the Talend team as well by the University’s strategic IT partner, Wipro.

“Data and advanced analytics are critical to understanding key student and university insights,” said Kubra Chambers, Director of IAP. “By using Talend, we were able to extract and load high volumes of data sources into the cloud quickly, enabling us to explore and innovate faster without significant transformation upfront.”

Use Cases

The University built its business case for the MDE around two key use cases.

The first involved providing hot data in support of real-time learning analytics for institutional and academic research projects to help the University understand and generate resources to support students and improve learning outcomes.

The second use case is collaboration with the University’s Library to understand and measure student and faculty usage of resources such as online journals and databases, as well as to provide data-driven insights that can influence everything from future resources the library procures to how it engages with the wider university community.

“In Australian universities, the need for robust planning and revenue management has been exacerbated in recent years by reductions in government funding,” said Steve Singer, regional vice-president Australia and New Zealand at Talend. “Data management and analysis have therefore become a major and strategic challenge for universities to develop new insights to ensure efficient operations and the optimal success of their students. We are delighted to support the University of Sydney in its development and cloud data-driven strategy.”