TitleBusiness Intelligence Request Date2012-11-30
DepartmentIT Center
RequestorAnne Milkovich Phone406.994.5715
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts  
Proposed Dates Start: 04/01/2013 End:  
Institutions of higher education cannot afford to guess at strategies to achieve their mission; those strategies must be data-informed with demonstrable probability of success to achieve strategic objectives cost-effectively. We must ensure investment of precious human and fiscal resources where they will have greatest impact. The purpose of this initiative is to enable strategic objectives with a business intelligence platform that will allow efficient mining and manipulation of institutional data by end users to analyze trends, inform solutions and decisions, and guide strategic investments to best effect.
Business Intelligence enables effective and informed institutional planning and decision-making and therefore supports all strategic objectives. It closely ties to Objective S.3 Stewardship of Economic Resources by informing resource investments for greatest value. By providing trend analysis in student populations and activities and in research and faculty productivity throughout the institution, it also directly supports Learning, Discovery, Engagement, Integration, and Access objectives.
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Salaries       150000       
Benefits       50000       
Materials & Supplies              
Contracted Services       200000       
Capital         100000     
Other Operations              
TOTAL 400000  100000     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

The typical costs incurred by other institutions on similar projects have been approximately $800,000 or higher annually through a multi-year implementation.  MSU’s BI effort will need to be scaled appropriately.

The costs in year one include the costs of the tools and consulting for data discovery, overall architecture, and preliminary implementation.  Staff costs are minimal in year one but will increase in years 2 through 5 as the work of the consultants diminishes. 

Describe the Proposal

The business intelligence initiative encompasses development of a data warehouse by outside consultants, implementation of report-writing and analytics tools to manipulate and use the data, and widescale training of report writers and users. Maintaining and supporting use of the data warehouse and tools will require staffing or outsourcing.

Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

Currently a vast reservoir of data exists within MSU’s information universe; however the information is largely untapped and unusable for lack of analytics and report-writing tools. To attempt to manipulate the data requires programmer-level skills and knowledge of the inner workings of complex software. MSU’s information usability is comparable to the days when word processing could only be performed by highly-trained computer operators processing job requests for regular staff.                        

As technology evolves, what begins as a complex technical operation evolves into a commodity user-friendly tool, as we are experiencing in the business intelligence era. In the BI future, users will be able to create reports using a user-friendly interface as easily learned as spreadsheet software. Students will learn BI analytical tools in their high school tech class. Administrators and users will be able to pull information, drill into information, manipulate information to inform decision-making on the fly, in executive dashboards, or in data-informed governance structures. MSU will be competitive in the higher education landscape through use of business intelligence and analytics tools at the leading edge of institutions of higher education.

Implementation Plan

Implementation will be conducted in manageable phases and stages with success criteria and go/no-go checkpoints.

Phase 1: Implementation
Stage 1.1: Install reporting tool, train technical team, begin data adaptation.
Stage 1.2: Train report writers and key report users; deploy high priority reports, develop core team to maintain data catalog.
Stage 1.3: Hire director of data warehouse and begin .to add staff, begin data discovery.
Stage 1.4: Purchase and deploy migration tool, migrate Banner data into data warehouse.

Phase 2: Transition
Stage 2.1: Build out of data warehouse.
Stage 2.2: Begin development of reports using Banner data from within the data warehouse.
Stage 2.3  Transition responsibility for continued build out of the data warehouse to technical staff.

Assessment Plan

At each phase- and stage-gate of the BI implementation initiative, progress toward successful Key Performance Indicators achievement will be evaluated. Failure to make progress will result in review and modification of the implementation plan or tabling of the initiative.

Key performance indicators for the success of business intelligence at MSU are: 

1. Progress toward all core themes is enabled and facilitated through availability and manipulability of information.

2. Staff and administrators know where to find the information they need to achieve strategic objectives.

3. Executives and upper level administrators routinely access a rich array of data to inform tactical decisions.

4. Staff throughout the university create and modify reports quickly and easily.

If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

Should a BI assessment and review uncover unacceptable risk or low probability of the institution to achieve BI maturity the initiative shall be tabled in favor of better use of resources.  

Executive/VP: Dewitt Latimer (