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Business Intelligence

This is the landing page for the external presence for the Business Intelligence Programme at Cardiff University.

We’re building a capability to provide data that aids the University’s senior management to make strategic information-based decisions. We’re creating access to a single source of data, combined across an agreed set of business functions. To do this, we need to look at how data flows around the organisation, from core systems for HR, Finance, Student, Estates and others.

The Business Intelligence programme is focused on getting a handle on what data we already have available to us and what data is also needed, how the data is used, and how we can improve the quality, availability and timeliness of the information.

We work across and within teams, collaborating with our friends in Programme Management and IT Services (PMITS), colleagues in Strategic Planning and Governance, liaising closely with stakeholders across the University. In fact, there’s such a great team approach at Cardiff that we won last year’s award for Professional Services Department of the Year 2015, celebrating the excellence of teams in BI, PMITS, and Strategic Planning, for the success of our REF analysis work in December 2014.

Award for Professional Services Department of the Year 2015

As the programme progresses, we’re creating capabilities that will be transitioned to outcomes across Data, People, Process and Technology:


  • Data – The programme will build up a complete, consistent, accurate and timely set of internal and externally generated data about Students, Staff, Research, Financials and other relevant matters from multiple sources.
  • People – A sustainable team will be put in place, capable of delivering the agreed data priorities and the technical solution to best exploit it. The team will include a broader range of intelligence users & consumers are trained and supported in understanding and use of the data and tools to best analyse and present it.
  • Process – These will need to ensure that data can be efficiently processed whilst ensuring its integrity so that it can be “trusted”.
  • Technology – The programme has implemented a data warehouse utilising Microsoft Business Intelligence technology. This will enable centrally governed data to be seen as a “single version of the truth”, assemble the data in suitable formats for efficient analytical processing and support queries.

These will help us to realise benefits which contribute to corporate objectives:


  • Greater visibility – Improved understanding of our performance in league tables and against other KPIs, targets and their immediate drivers.
  • Greater capability – Better access and capacity to cope with the increasing demand for analysed information against the increasing volume of data being generated through the use of structured reports and analyses, as well as broader self-service BI facilities to a wide range of authorised information consumers.
  • Improved support for the management and use of data – Less effort in analysing data and providing information in reports and dashboards for business as usual and strategic decision making resulting in better University performance and better understanding and management of the impact arising from poor data quality.
  • Reduced effort – Increased automation of external returns and capacity to meet the increasing demand from external bodies for complex information. Less effort in analysing data and providing information in reports and dashboards.
  • Reduced risk – Greater visibility and a single uniform understanding of the factors that impact performance will allow for issues to be identified, surfaced and managed more quickly as well as providing confidence that decisions are being based on robust data.

There’s a set of intranet pages currently set up to promote the huge investment in portfolios of programmes and projects at the University, and more information about the BI programme is posted here.

If you’re a member of staff at Cardiff University, we’re working on a rollout to all staff during 2016 and some of you will already have access to the REF analysis, Research Income and Applicant Profile work we’ve already done.

Who am I?

I’m Kiran Oza, Programme Manager for the Business Intelligence Programme. You can find me on Twitter and LinkedIn. Comment here or ping me on one of the other channels.