UNISA is Africa’s leading distance learning institution and is the largest university in South Africa. It is the only open and distance learning education provider in the country and has approximately 300 000 students in about 137 countries worldwide.
UNISA’s Department of Information and Strategic Analysis (DISA) is responsible for Business Intelligence and Institutional research in the university and is currently located in the portfolio of the Vice-Principal Strategy, Planning and Partnerships. Key organisational data and information is disseminated into outputs in support of strategic and operational management. Conducting effective corporate performance management depends on the availability and analysis of relevant, accurate, accessible and well-organised management information in order to monitor and evaluate the organisational performance. DISA aims to develop a web-based dashboard and scorecard system with performance indicators and drill-down to monitor performance against targets.
UNISA has a range of software tools and technologies within the institution that need to be integrated to support a comprehensive data management life cycle with the proposed solution which forms a critical component of the UNISA enterprise information architecture. UNISA’s core requirements included the provision of (1) Corporate Performance Management Reporting and Business Intelligence (BI) tools, and (2) Consulting on scorecard development, Business Intelligence and data warehousing implementation services covering the complete BI lifecycle.
“We presented a detailed tender response demonstrating how, with Information Builders technologies, our strong local technical team can provide a solution that covers the full-spectrum of UNISA’s requirement with the ability to meet future needs as these grow,” says Fiona Ridgwell, Service Delivery Manager, BI and Integration, at Fujitsu. “In our technical demonstration, we incorporated their data and showed off PMF, Dashboards, and Active Reports. We presented a compelling financial solution in exact detail to meet their evaluation criteria and we included technical offerings from Fujitsu that ultimately differentiated our solution. I believe that our total Customer Focused approach was a vital component in our success.”
The solution encompasses Enterprise Operational Reporting and Performance Management, which are served through the implementation of Information Builders’ WebFOCUS solution suite of products. “We were able to meet every need that was stated within the tender requirements. UNISA was also reassured of our ability to rapidly respond to their requirements and also by our flexibility in being able to contract and provide solutions compatible with their requirements,” says Ridgwell.
“For Unisa, the objectives of this project are to address their strategic objectives in the area of organisational intelligence with the expectation that the software will provide a state-of-the-art interface which may vitally influence their strategic decision-making processes. Implementation of the tool is being conducted by a number of pilot projects covering aspects of information dissemination and performance monitoring at different levels within the institution,” concludes Ridgwell.