In the last newsletter, the lead article talked about the Strategic Reporting Initiative. That project wrapped up its nearly year-long effort in August, with a presentation to SGG recommending an effort to improve executive and management level reporting. This new project is called the Stanford Management Information Project (SMIP). The project was approved by SGG in September and is now underway. Rana Glasgal is the business sponsor of this project, with Vijay Gandra as the technology sponsor.
The goals of this project are:
- Form an initial Business Intelligence Competency Center, including a data governance function, using proven processes and roles
- Train “virtual team members” to carry out the work of creating value from Stanford’s data resources
- Leverage data already in the EDW to develop 8 -10 integrated dashboards with which to monitor Stanford’s performance from a University, School, or Department level
- Create a roadmap for the future migration from our many reporting silos to OBIEE, eventually resulting in one reporting tool.
This project recognizes that there are many roadblocks to the achievement of these goals, for example:
- The use of disparate reporting tools delivers information in separate reporting tools and databases, preventing data integration from reaching users and discouraging true management and executive reporting.
- Changes in the vendor landscape and changes in Stanford’s information needs require a reexamination of Stanford’s use of reporting tools.
- Previous efforts to achieve tool convergence, data integration, and management and executive reporting have been hampered by lack of an overall plan and/or the structure to support it.
- Without sustained participation and support from the “business” community, efforts to improve reporting and information delivery have been confined to specific areas with little attention paid to integration or long-term planning.
Clearly there are challenges to achieving the project’s goals, and a methodic approach is necessary. First, to create long-term sustainability, a new “virtual” organization is necessary. This organization is called a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BICC).
BICCs are common in industry and exist in many of Stanford’s peer institutions. Randy Livingston and Tim Warner have agreed to serve as the BICC’s coexecutive sponsors, providing long-term guidance and support. On a more day-to-day level, Rana Glasgal is the Business Intelligence Program Manager, and Vijay Gandra is the Information Technology Program Manager. A Steering Committee will be named shortly. This committee will oversee the activities of the BICC, helping to set priorities and provide advice and insight.
Because a BICC is a new concept for Stanford, those involved (from the executive sponsors through the technical team) will receive information and training from a recognized higher education Business Intelligence expert. These informative sessions will take place on campus the week of January 11. Planning for these sessions is underway now, and we are excited to learn more about how to properly implement BI here at Stanford.
Also underway currently is an effort to define business requirements for executive/management reporting dashboards involving research, faculty, and/or financial data. Members of the now-retired Reporting Strategy group have interviewed potential users of this type of reporting to determine needs and “desirements”. The group gained very valuable information during these interviews and has a good foundation for creating useful dashboards. The SMIP project will further refine these business requirements and plans to release dashboards by next summer.