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UBI Early Success

June 20, 2016
Author: 
Jeremy Serkin

School of Engineering and Applied Science

This anecdote explains how UVA’s new University Business Intelligence (UBI) reporting environment can dramatically improve reporting and data analysis across Grounds. The specific data referenced here was ultimately not required for the School of Engineering and Applied Science accreditation.

Would you like to save 80% of the estimated time to complete a task? UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science projected a two-week turnaround to compile a large set of data needed for an accreditation board. This is how they cut that time to two days.

“Going back beyond the current fiscal year has been painful in Discoverer.”
-Mary Smith
Assistant Dean, Engineering School

First, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) historically required four years of data—broken down by category, department, funding type, and expenditure type. This data mapped the E-School’s undergraduate program spend. Mary Smith and Diane Wendelken have prepared this data in the past, and they said it would take roughly two weeks to gather, manipulate, and analyze the required information across hundreds of Discoverer reports.

In UBI, the same task requires only a handful of reports (that generate in seconds rather than minutes), and the cross-channel analysis takes place right in UBI. So when Mary and Diane (with roughly 40 folks from the E-School’s nine units) attended Intro to UBI training, they found an exceptionally responsive system that presented the data they needed, coupled with summarizations, trends, and analysis.

“There are many ways to search for and access information.”
-Mary Smith

“It’s much quicker. UBI gives me reports and information in a way I can’t get from Discoverer.”
-Diane Wendelken
Financial Analyst, Engineering School

From the very beginning, Mary could not believe how fast UBI produced accurate information (she validated against Discoverer). She ran a report based on a specific funding source, and results were available in a couple moments. It almost seemed too fast.

Diane and Mary confirmed that Intro to UBI prepared them to quickly reduce the accreditation data task to a day or two—demonstrating UBI’s immediate value. Joining Diane and Mary in the class were Bob Bremer and fiscal administrators from all of the E-School’s units. Everyone learned how to run budget and expenditure reports, and they are all eager to spend more time in UBI.

“You can’t learn it if you don’t use it.”
-Bob Bremer
Associate Dean, Engineering School

Bob is already using UBI for his current BBA Expenditure Detail needs. So is Mary, and she is looking forward to the UBI’s planned GL rollout. Then she’ll see BBA and cash balance data all in one place. How much time would that save you?