Business Intelligence

business intelligence

Business intelligence (BI) is a set of technologies, tools and processes that assist organizations and decision makers in using data to understand and analyze organizational performance. BI uses fact-based management to facilitate decisions and actions.

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The objective of GW's business intelligence (BI) initiative is to work to get the right information to the right people at the right time and enable the effective use of information to support the academic and administrative initiatives necessary to drive the university forward.

By providing timely access to trusted information across functions and departments for actionable insight and fact-based decision making, the business intelligence initiative will help inform long-term planning and execution of the university strategy and support GW’s strategic goals of excellence in education, excellence in research and world-class service to all university stakeholders (students, faculty, alumni, parents, staff and community members). Timely access to trusted data will inform actionable decision making to improve alignment with university strategy, improve efficiencies and effectiveness, reduce operational costs, ensure regulatory compliance and minimize risk. The key to BI success at GW is achieving ease of use for widespread acceptance and end user self-service.

As part of the initiative we will:

  • Leverage existing business intelligence capabilities and deliver new ones (descriptive, prescriptive and predictive tools and capabilities such as analytics, dashboards and alerts)
  • Empower, train and support the power users with a standard tool set for "last-mile" reporting and analysis
  • Govern BI capabilities and data, fostering user autonomy and self-service
  • Provide, manage and maintain BI and data infrastructure

As part of our approach we will:

  • Start with top-priority business needs
  • Integrate and certify data into the University Data Warehouse (UDW)
  • Provide BI capabilities and tools that can be accessed by consumers/decision makers and power users via web and mobile devices
  • Leverage prototyping and an agile methodology for BI solutions development
  • Provide standard BI tools and training to functional power users


The Business Intelligence Advisory Committee (BIAC) is composed of upper management from various GW functions and departments who have a vested interest in guiding the BI strategy direction, roadmap prioritization and institutionalization of BI policies, processes and communication. The BIAC determines priorities and updates them periodically, likely quarterly. Division of IT’s Office of Business Intelligence Services is leading the execution of the business intelligence initiative.

The Data Stewardship Committee is a working committee composed of GW data owners and stakeholders; responsible for identification and resolution of data quality, data integrity, data validation and certification of shared data.


All GW business intelligence (BI) solutions will be released on a 12-week schedule (every six sprints). BI solutions are completed in the order of priorities set quarterly by the committee. 


The expected results include a business-driven, collaborative environment with effective data governance and standardized methodologies and tools. This transformation will enable the university community to effectively and efficiently consume information for actionable, fact-based decisions.

The initiative will be considered successful if there are:

  • Better and easier analytics (get more meaningful insights and find timely answers to the university's toughest questions)
  • Better data visualization (see what we have been missing)
  • More robust BI development capabilities (enabling the wider GW community to create reports and dashboards quickly)
  • Mobile BI (enabling decision makers to easily access and explore BI content anytime, anywhere, from their mobile devices)
  • The UDW as GW's single, certified version of the truth


Success will be measured by:

  • The degree of use of BI solutions across all university departments and functions
  • The percent of functional power users who use BI systems regularly to provide decision support
  • The number of domains or subject areas in the UDW