Scottish agency improves reporting with BI

The Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE) is providing business teams with new reporting capabilities built on a new reporting system that links performance data held across multiple information systems.

As the Scottish Government's economic and community development agency covering more than the half of the country, the HIE delivers its services through area teams located from Lerwick in Shetland to Lochgilphead in Argyll.

The agency has worked with specialist consultancy, Morgan Benjamin to build a new business intelligence (BI) system using IBM's Cognos 8 that allows it to manage service provision more effectively and analyse and understand the impact of its activity.

Andy Sarjeant, HIE project manager said: "Morgan Benjamin worked closely with us to understand our business and our need for both accurate and clearly presented data. Their work has had a significant impact on our business, transferring knowledge in how to exploit the potential of Cognos 8 to staff in both information systems and business teams."

The work undertaken involved upgrading the HIE's existing reporting suite to Cognos 8 and enables users to create reports containing objects including charts, cross tabs, and lists as well as non-BI components such as images, logos and live embedded applications that can be linked to the information. These objects allow HIE to extend its traditional reporting boundaries by providing new graphical ways of viewing business based on performance data.

A single 'website' approach to reporting was taken, where an entry point dashboard displayed high level charts and information that can be mined to expose subsequent dashboards. Links act as an intuitive roadmap, allowing new users to easily navigate and find the data required.

Sarjeant added: "Reporting is also now a simple point and click activity, with the integrity of the figures guaranteed. And we have gained some excellent results with the upgrade of our BI environment."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.