Information Services

Welcome to the IRM: Trio of new teams and partners onboarded

A trio of new departments and partners are joining the University of Edinburgh’s hugely successful Industry Relation Management (IRM) system, which is boosting the ways they work, cooperate and drive innovations.

UNICEF’s Data for Children Collaborative, Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) and the University’s Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS) are the latest bodies be onboarded onto the University’s innovative and dynamic relationship management system.

"It is really pleasing to see a flow of areas onboarding to the IRM and gaining the benefits of data sharing, a common process, peer support and helping to make the One University vision of industrial engagement a reality."

Alex CarterISG Service Owner for IRM

The Data for Children Collaborative is a partnership between the University’s Data Driven Innovation Programme, the humanitarian agency UNICEF and the Scottish Government. 

It works to improve outcomes for all children around the world by solving problems through its platform for data collation and innovative practices, and collaboration between academics and the private and public sectors.

Welcome sign
Three new partners and departments have been welcomed to the IRM

Previously, the Data for Children Collaborative project was hosted with the University’s Innovation Centre Datalab infrastructure.

But it has recently been relocated to become part of the EFI and, as part of the transition, data held within Datalab will be moved onto the IRM system.

This will bring a range of benefits including:

  • Improved data quality through data cleansing prior to migration 
  • Refined business processes to meet current business requirements 
  • Support for Theory of Change process which measures outcomes and impact from their activities 
  • Maintenance of the underlying data for the Community Dashboard to visualise and explore the breadth and depth of the network that is being established through ongoing activities within the collaborative
  • Maintenance of underlying data to produce the Demand Driven Dashboard to visualise, inputs spanning, Funding, data, Challenge Questions, Infrastructure, and Collaborative Teams

Team members in the University’s Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS) have also been getting onboard with the exciting shift to the IRM.

Switching over to the new system involved a large data migration of collections of information previously stored as ‘Contacts’, ‘Projects’ and ‘Events’ objects in the Cerebro Customer Relationship Management system.

To ensure the migration happened as smoothly as possible and to gear SRS staff up for new ways of working, a series of fun and interesting training and onboarding sessions were delivered by the University’s Digital Skills and Training, and Service Management teams, a first of this kind.

These sessions included training on creating events in Salesforce, tracking event attendees, creating form questions so attendees can interact with event speakers, and organising campaign programmes.

"We had a really positive comments about the training from participants. The combination of demonstrations and subsequent hands-on practice worked well, with attendees particularly happy when they created their own multi-event Campaigns in the system and viewed them in the Event Registration Portal."

Andrew KirkDigital Skills Trainer who led the onboarding events

In another exciting development, the EFI and IRM teams have come together to make innovative solutions to business challenges and push forward engagement.

This will be achieved through delivery of an improved Engagement Journey, better enabling the various parts of the EFI to work together and promote successful engagement between the Institute, University and their partners.

The upgraded, scalable Journey model will gather consistent data about businesses, streamline opportunity qualification and standardise scoping processes, in order to develop business opportunities.

It will also allow the EFI to make its values clearer, boost engagement with the University and set up multiple touchpoints to learn more about businesses and strengthen its reputation.

This will ensure the EFI is able to better carry outs its objectives to connect with businesses and organisations to provide expertise from the University and beyond to solve business challenges.

Functionality relating to existing and ongoing relationships has already been partially deployed by the EFI at the end of last year.

Deployment of parts relating to new relationships are expected to follow in the first half of 2022.  

It is additionally hoped that this development of the business engagement functionality will be put to use among other IRM user groups in the future.