The service team periodically reviews the performance, stability and value of the MI service to identify potential areas of improvement.
Service Improvements - 2012
A seperate Cognos Server has been commissioned in the development environment as a test bed for developing reports to be delivered to iPad devices. This will be used to investigate the different mechanisms for consuming reports on an iPad, either by pushing reports to the iPad or using is as a straightforward client reader. If there is a desire to consume reports via this mechanism and there is a business case to cover the additional investment then this will be added to the production environment as part of the upgrade to Cognos 10.2, currently estimated to be mid 2013.
Historic Service Improvement
Overnight Data Load
During one of these reviews in 09/10 an opportunity to reduce the variability of data load processes was identified. A number of overnight data loads into the Warehouse were showing a wide variability in execution time. As part of the upgrade to Cognos 8.4 a revised server configuration was deployed, and data execution time was recorded before and after the change, the results were recorded on a run chart and a statistical control chart was plotted.
The results confirmed that the upgrade and re-organisation of the serves had achieved a significant reduction in the variability and duration of the data load time.
A more complete overview of the improvement is available here.
Student planning support
One of the strategic objectives for the MI service was to reduce the time IT spent supporting the day to day running of the service. The Management Information and Planning Section of the Academic Registrar's Office were able to use new self service tools for the 09/10 planning round. These tools significantly reduced the time that IT services spent support the service, further work still remains to provide self analysis tools and are likely to be contained within the work down on transparency on student load.