BI Summit 2019 Dutch Universities

by Arwold Koelewijn on November 3, 2019

T

his year the BI Summit of the Dutch universities was held at the TUE (13 th September 2019). This was already the third edition, and it seems that every year it is growing in size and becoming more professional. There were a lot of interesting presentations and in this blog I would like to highlight three of them:

  • ‘Reinout van Brakel – Sharing insights across Universities’; for showing the ideas and principles behind the sector dashboard
  • ‘Comprehensive forecasting model – BI-Cluster of the TU/e’; for showing the build forecast model with different scenario options
  • ‘Piet Daas – Big Data meets official statistics’; for the inspirational demonstrations of use of ‘big’ data to gain insights

I start with the presentation of ‘Reinout van Brakel – Sharing insights across Universities’ of the VSNU ( the publics affair agency for Dutch universities).  He explained the role of the VSNU in Dutch policy making, and how over the years they have been facilitating gathering facts and figures from the Universities, in order to be transparent over the achievements of the Universities. For individual Universities this is also highly valuable information, since they can see (on an aggregated level) information of other higher educational organizations. Thus allowing them to benchmark (i.e. on personnel), view market share (i.e on a certain teaching program) and connection (i.e. first years masters origin). In 2018 it was decided to build a dashboard on this information (in Tableau), so now the data is easily accessible. Reminder to myself: check regularly their dashboards, it might be inspiring and also, the data should be alike.

The presentation of the TU/e, ‘Comprehensive forecasting model – BI-Cluster of the TU/e’ was about a lot more then just the forecasting model. They also explained how their BI Cluster is delivering value to the organization. It is quite a remarkable achievement that within several years they have a professional BI operation running that is delivering BI products to the organization. The second part was mainly on the forecasting model, which they build in Power BI. For me it was inspiring to see what the principals behind it are. Reminder to myself: check if this can add value at my current BI project as well.

The presentation ‘Piet Daas – Big Data meets official statistics’, of the Dutch central bureau of Statistics (CBS) was very inspiring in the way it showed how to use big data. The CBS has access (with limitations of course) to a lot of data like road sensors, phone location data, ship locations to name a few. With this data they can gain very interesting insight to improve decision making in the Netherlands. Reminder to myself: keep an eye on interesting reports from the CBS.

To conclude: A very interesting BI Summit this year. Check the VSNU dashboard regularly. Check if there is a requirement for a forecasting model like the TU/e has. Keep an eye out for interesting CBS reports.

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