Client background: Public research university in Sheffield

Business Challenge

  • Lacked robust data management with the existing repository containing duplicate, overlapping and incomplete data sets

  • Address issues regarding broader information consumption

  • BI content produced without a clear context for its use

  • Empower information consumers with a platform for serving themselves with reports

  • Flexibility for data savvy analysts to navigate data sets and respond to ad hoc queries

  • Allow leaders and managers to use easily digestible, up to date dashboards

Business Solution

  • Built an information management platform on Microsoft SQL Server, with Talend ETL and ESB components including a Kimball style multi dimensional conformed target schema from where the vast majority of data for reporting purposes is consumed

  • Established a centre of excellence known as the Business Intelligence Competency Centre (BICC) for delivery of new BI content and an information governance framework

  • Offered consultation on a range of reporting tools; Designed the platform to be reporting tool agnostic (multiple tools to be used against the same tightly managed repository of corporate data

  • Used Power BI, tightly coupled for most use cases with SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), for reporting and dashboards

  • Defined BI content to assure quality based on user types & needs:

    • Standard reports, dashboards and extracts to be made available to authorised users through the Reporting portal
    • Ad hoc reporting supporting analysts and power users in exploring data to answer ad hoc queries

Business Benefits

  • Power BI used in multiple departments for reporting purpose

  • Bespoke Reporting Portal using Drupal providing access to reports

  • Assured quality of BI content enhancing trust and making it easy to interpret and usable for evidence based decision making

  • Met needs of different types of user and use cases with appropriate tools and content

  • Promoted robust data management


  • Talend ETL and ESB

  • Microsoft SQL Server

  • Oracle Enterprise Repository

  • Power BI