SIRI is celebrating its one year anniversary with expanded
access, enhancements, and significant progress towards achieving
the vision of a single authoritative source for information and
reporting. SIRI now includes reports and dashboards for financial,
human resource, procurement, and Resource Management analysis and
The SIRI team is actively engaged in Phase III to round out the financial and HR subject areas with additional data and reports.
Gary Pacer, team leader, reported on the success of the recent
campus deployments of People/Money and Resource Management. There
are just a few reports to be added that are awaiting
With all of the ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) work on the data warehouse now complete, the team is focused on ETL transformation mappings to run on some cyclical nature. Process delay issues are being addressed to optimize the data load, and the team is targeting the end of April to have a solution in place.
In describing details that led to the second phase of the finance, human resources, and resource management systems implementation, Kerr highlighted two key project topics: progress on data definition and transformation, and identification of data quality issues needed to be resolved.
Beginning in December, SIRI deployed Financial, HR, Procurement,
Inventory, and Resource Management (RM) dashboards and reports to
the SIRI Customer Team/Pilot group. These dashboards and reports
are now being extended to those on campus who previously had access
to Resource Management reports.
The Money/Financial release is similar to the screens found in People and Money and offers the following enhancements: overall performance, printing functionality, standardization on organizing data by entity, access to information beyond the current and previous years, and additional reports.
The Procurement dashboard offers a new view of Procurement transactions from e-Procurement that enables a search on multiple criteria, such as economic impact information and supplier information, and the ability to review and report on inventory information and new reports.
The RM dashboard provides web reporting and drill down to the account and person level, enhancing the previous Adobe PDF and separate web site used for reporting. Work continues adding data and new reports.
Together these reports and dashboards directly support UB 2020's efforts to strategically align resources with UB Strategic Strengths. "The response has really been great," said Joe Kerr, project leader. "We have received many positive comments," he added.
A SharePoint site is being used to collaborate with the customers and within the team. Team members as well as the customers are benefiting from the features within, providing the ability to efficiently handle issues.
The SIRI Business Intelligence Team has announced the release of Money/Financial and a brand new Procurement dashboard to the SIRI Customer Team for piloting.
The SIRI Business Intelligence Team is announcing the release of Money/Financial and a brand new Procurement dashboard to the SIRI Customer Team for piloting. The Money/Financial release is similar to the screens found in People and Money and offers the following enhancements: overall performance, printing functionality, standardization on organizing data by entity, access to information beyond the current and previous years and Additional reports. The Procurement dashboard offers a new view of Procurement transactions from e-Procurement such as the ability to search on multiple criteria, economic impact information, supplier information, the ability to review and report on inventory information and NEW reports. Work continues on the Resource Management (RM) reports and we plan to have an RM dashboard to you soon.
The SIRI Team is striving to deliver financial and human resource data, reports and dashboards to the community by the end of January. A great deal of ETL (extraction, transformation and load) work is ongoing, with the help of UB Staff and consultants from LPA Systems of Rochester.
Project leader Joe Kerr reported that the SIRI project is on track. All of the data models are finished and the team is focused on the work required to automate the movement and transformation of data from where it resides today to the new models.
One of the great benefits of SIRI is that users will now have the capability to analyze issues that cross a number of data sources to a greater level of efficiency, accuracy and consistency than has been possible in the past.
The topics that generated the most discussion at the SIRI project table of the recent Town Hall (held on September 14, 2007) were: the current status of the project, who is involved in the planning and building of SIRI, how will security be handled in SIRI, what data and information is included and how will it be pulled into SIRI, and what will be the impact of SIRI on current university transactional systems and departmental databases.
The past three years has seen rapid administrative and leadership change along with the formulation of important, yet simple, questions such as “how much funding is available?”, or “what is our class enrollment level?” SIRI's basic deliverable is an enterprise, all resources, data rich, analytic and reporting environment. Joe Kerr offered, “This project is focused on getting a basic foundation so that we can go forward most effectively and efficiently”. In addition, SIRI will provide tools for analysis with a high degree of confidence. To illustrate this need, Joe told a story. “It took us 3 months to get confirmation from the departments on the strategic management report that we created for [the new administration] and we delivered it 5 months later.”
The Strategic Information Reporting Initiative (SIRI) project team is developing an action plan to obtain necessary approvals for recommendations presented to the SIRI Steering Committee. Elias Eldayrie, Associate Vice President for Information Technology, is making every effort to get the SIRI project on the agendas of the upcoming Executive Technology Advisory Group (ETAG), and the Deans & Vice-Presidents meetings, in an effort to move closer to approval. Once endorsements happen, the project is ready to proceed. In the meanwhile, background activities to prepare for acquisition of the recommended business integration software are underway.
A SIRI project team round-table discussion addressed issues that are associated with the existing information including the large amount of data sources, the inability to bring together and reconcile data, the uncommon definitions of data, and the slowness of InfoSource. People interested in the topic expressed that they would like UB to achieve a single authoritative source for data and for common definitions. They would also like the ability to do ad-hoc reporting as needed and summary views of data with history including the ability to drill to detail. Overwhelmingly, people said that they want these abilities sooner than later.
The Strategic Information and Reporting Initiative conducted high-level reviews of approaches taken by peers, with several business intelligence tool vendors brought to campus for day-long evaluations and presentations. The team has made a recommendation to the executive steering committee, with an estimated budget included, and is awaiting a decision.
The SIRI team has made great progress and completed the recommendations. In preparation, CIT has invested in upgrading the data warehouse infrastructure.
SIRI team members visited two other universities to see firsthand how other academic institutions transformed the process of managing their financial and human resources data, and what tools were implemented to aid the process. The SIRI team also hosted three evaluation days (one for each vendor) where three data management organizations (Cognos, Oracle and Business Objects) delivered presentations on toolset solutions.
The SIRI project team is continuing to actively address issues such as the quality of data that exists in a variety of current systems, and the cumbersome nature of legacy information systems (such as the BARS system). All the data is being tackled at one time due to the nature of our systems. Vendor selection research has narrowed the choices down to three: Cognos, Oracle and Business Objects. The team is making arrangements to visit UT Austin and University of Minnesota to learn from their experiences.