The enormous task of arranging and scheduling events at UMass Boston, whether it’s the academic calendar, semester schedules, or nonacademic events like seminars or meetings, is not an exact science. So, UMass Boston’s Applications Administration & Support team, headed up by Peter Tierney, decided to implement X25 Analytics, a scheduling module that analyzes how everything is scheduled on campus and finds the most efficient ways to use university facilities. The original version of X25 had been used at UMass Boston before it was discontinued, but when a new, improved version came out making it much easier to use, Peter Tierney was very happy to revisit this powerful event/resource scheduling platform and explore its potential use for university planning.
One can sense Peter’s excitement as he describes X25’s usefulness and capabilities. He explained that although X25 didn’t create the Fall 2022 semester class schedule, it did draw from and analyze the entire UMass Boston course schedule and quickly point out possible conflicts and inefficiencies so that corrections could be made and future schedules improved upon.
After completing training on the new X25 system, Tierney stated, “I reached out to the Registrar’s office and said, ‘hey look, this is on the table. These are things I think you might be interested in. Let me know and I’ll work with you to get you X25 analytics in your hands.’” The Registrar’s office quickly responded and their partnership began. Getting a bit more specific, Tierney added, “Everyone wants to go (to class) at 11:00 a.m., but we don’t have enough rooms to accommodate everyone at 11:00 a.m.,” and further data analysis using X25 Analytics allowed him to share with the Registrar’s Office how “they could adjust the schedule and rearrange times for classes.” For example, part of that analysis compared the seating capacity of a room with the attendance of classes held in it. This informed the Registrar’s Office that perhaps they should schedule a class that normally has about 20 students to a room closer to that seating capacity, instead of a much larger room the class was scheduled to be held in.
Tierney was also quick to point out that the X25 event/resource scheduling platform is capable of much more than course/event scheduling and analysis. Possibly the most important task it completed at UMass Boston came during the COVID-19 pandemic. The university wanted to figure out if there were ways to limit the spread or transmission of the virus on campus, so Tierney used X25 to identify the number of people who were scheduled to be in certain buildings on campus and when they would be there. He was able to compile a report of when people would be entering and exiting Wheatley Hall, how many people were in the building at a given time, and when it was most populated. This gave the university an idea of how best to schedule classes or events in Wheatley so that they could limit the amount of people who would have to be in close proximity to one another.
Suffice it to say that X25 is an extraordinarily capable tool, and Peter Tierney, Director of Applications Administration & Support, is glad to have played a part in providing the UMass Boston community with access to X25 Analytics. He hopes that students, faculty, and staff will never have to hear that their class or event had to be rescheduled or moved, thanks to improved scheduling brought to you by X25 Analytics.