The effective use of knowledge and data enables smart and strategic decision making, an essential component to advancing the University of Minnesota's mission. A few years ago, the University recognized that to stay competitive with our peer institutions, we needed more robust data management and reporting. As a start, we purchased a new tool that held the promise of vast improvement in data management performance and reporting usability; we called that tool BI. Time and effort went into getting the tool's infrastructure in place and a pilot program was run. You may be wondering what has happened to BI since the pilot.
BI has evolved into Enterprise Data Management and Reporting (EDMR, pronounced ED MER). The transformation from BI to EDMR was driven by several forces, including:
- Confusion over the term "BI." Were we talking about a tool? A set of practices? A business unit? BI means everything and nothing.
- Varied guidelines, policies, and procedures. In trying to organize and present their data in a manner that was sharable and consumable across units, the BI pilot participants discovered varied guidelines, standards, and processes from unit to unit.
- Need for an enterprise strategy. Requests from the Enterprise System Upgrade Project (ESUP) for University policies and procedures on data and reporting brought to light the need for an enterprise strategy.
EDMR is a term that better reflects University goals: to address administrative and operational data management and reporting needs across all campuses, including issues of data quality and integrity. Its defining values are:
- Shared data platform that is a common home for institutional and unit data.
- Shared understanding of key metrics, data definitions, appropriate use, and awareness.
- Shared tools providing an enterprise platform for data analysis and reporting.
- Shared development environment enabling units to share knowledge, ideas, and reports.
The University has never had an enterprise-wide strategy for data and reporting. There is a confluence of activities and resources around data and reporting at the University, with ESUP being a high profile example. As the ESUP staff begin their work, they are looking to EDMR to provide processes, policies, and procedures. With its governance structure in place, the time to operationalize and socialize the EDMR strategy is now. If you have questions about EDMR, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional updates and information on how your unit can prepare will follow in the coming weeks.