Governance & Strategic Planning

BI/MI Strategy

The University's BI/MI strategy and roadmap set out the priorities and recommendations for a two to three year incremental change programme over the period 2014-2017.

Over the course of 2015 and 2016, key business areas have worked constructively together in conjunction with GaSP's BI/MI Programme Coordinator to plan and prioritise BI/MI related developments in line with the strategy. In doing so, we have collectively achieved the iterative, incremental change envisaged and helped to promote a more positive, collaborative BI/MI culture.

The achievements over this period provide solid foundations for the new Service Excellence and Digital Transformation Programmes which will encompass longer term, larger scale enhancements to University BI/MI capability as part of their broader change remits.  During the transition phase from existing BI/MI Strategy implementation to major transformation programmes, the BI/MI Programme Board (which has overseen BI/MI strategy development and implementation) is re-defining its remit to maintain its role as an expert authority and to provide strategic oversight of ongoing BI/MI developments.


Service Excellence Programme website


BI/MI Strategy & Roadmap, 2014-17




The vision


To empower decision makers with consistent, accurate and timely information that supports understanding and insight


Strategic priorities


​1.  Embed a positive business intelligence culture across the University

2.  Establish a common framework for data and its governance

3.  Enhance our management information systems and tools

4.  Creating BI capability which enables and supports better decision making


Roadmap work strands


1. Creating a positive business intelligence culture   ​5. Management information improvements                      
​2. Data governance   ​6. Measuring success
​3. Maximising use of BI Suite  

​7. Enabling future planning

​4. System improvements   ​8. Access to information


It is important that the roadmap accurately focuses on improving the quality of fit-for-purpose data that is needed for decision making. The University already holds a vast array of high quality data and, while there are undoubtably systems improvements that will be made, the areas that we need to focus on are making it more accessible and understandable to University staff.

BI/MI Roadmap, p2


Implementation approach

A collaborative, 'virtual network' approach to implementing iterative and incremental change over two to three years.
Enhancement activity embedded within the remits of individual departments, leveraging existing projects and resource. 
Any additional resource required in the medium term or for larger scale projects to be reqested by business areas via the usual annual submission of business cases to University planning round or similar.
Governance and Strategic Planning providing a coordination and facilitation function via the appointment of a 2 year fixed term post.
A new University Data Governance Group formed to establish and oversee policies that facilitate the appropriate use of data and develop strategies for controlling and monitoring that use.

Implementation principles


1. Iterative and incremental change                                                                                           

  The change management process should recognise that the BI/MI programme will not change all the systems at once.  Incremental changes using existing solutions will be adopted in the short-term while new solutions will be added over time.  There should be an agile approach to problem definition, solution development and implementation.
2. Enterprise approach   There should be a University-wide approach to Business Intelligence projects, not simply focussed on one department or information area.  The benefits should be clear for the University as a whole and enable informed decision-making at different levels.
3. Clear communication of benefits   The benefits of the change process should be communicated in a way that ensures that there is full buy-in from users.  Users are likely to be resistant to change and so the benefits need to be clearly articulated.  A range of communication methods and communities should be utilised to ensure that users are engaged with the short and long-term-term benefits of the programme of work.  Local champions should be used to engage directly with promoting the work and benefits for users.

4. Credible, cross-functional teams

  Small groups of stakeholders representing key business users, system owners and IT will be involved in the complete lifecycle of each project.  It will ensure that the needs of the business are accurately captured and involved in the suitability and effectiveness of planned solutions.  Cross-functional teams are likely to be virtual groups of individuals from different areas of the University.  Teams should be credible in their ability to successfully deliver.
5. Tight integration with existing business processes   Any changes made to the Business Intelligence capability of the University need to be aligned with existing business processes that exist within the organisation.  It will be necessary to ensure that existing performance for business users is not affected.
6. Senior support and buy in  

There should be clear support from senior management that the programme of work is both necessary and they fully support the benefits to the organisation. Senior sponsorship should be actively involved and visible in the programme of work, manage resistance where this exists and communicate directly with business users.



Craig Middlemass

BI/MI Programme Coordinator

Governance & Strategic Planning

0131 651 4114

Lynda Hutchison

Senior Strategic Planner

Governance & Strategic Planning

0131 651 4104

More details also available on the BI/MI Programme Coordination SharePoint site