When Gray Met Green

See how one strategy consulting firm uses Qlik to analyze over 45 million inquiries.

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This week we’d like to bring attention to another one of our amazing SMB customers, Gray Associates, a strategy consulting firm focused on higher education. Gray Associates helps educational clients develop marketing and institutional strategies that maximize outcomes for schools, students and constituencies. To develop these strategies, Gray Associates compiled a massive database that includes 45 million inquiries, 18,000 placement rates, and numerous job postings by city and occupation code.

There was one small problem, however – with so much data within the site, it couldn’t run efficiently on a desktop computer. They initially tried using Excel, which people enjoyed at first, because no one had ever visibly put all the data in one place, but it crashed. Then they tried other alternatives, but they were much too slow.

Fortunately, Gray Associates found Qlik, which they chose because it has just the right amount of simplicity and complexity to analyze and navigate all their data, using a dashboard that allows their clients to see over 1,000 programs in each market they have a campus in, within seconds.

According to Gray Associates’ CEO, Bob Atkins,

“We’re able to run very sophisticated analytics off a very large database in less than half the time, and that has allowed us to become a leader in helping higher education institutions align their program portfolios with the needs of their student and customer markets.”

The database gets updated with 700,000 records per month, and with Qlik the update takes less than a day, whereas before a single update took two months. Clients such as universities can now use this data to determine when to start, stop, sustain or grow certain academic programs, which are evaluated on about 30 different variables. This helps to significantly reduce cost in an environment where cost is increasingly rising.

“Our clients are impressed by what we’ve done, and it’s really helped us go to market. For what we do, we’re now the best firm in the industry.”

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