May Monthly Staff Series: Enterprise Architecture

Hello readers! It’s the end of the month so time for another blog post, all about…

BI Team (Enterprise Architecture)!

We are a small but international team with members with roots in The Netherlands, Iran, India and Scotland. We have BI (Business Intelligence) Team Lead, Data Architect and ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) developers in our team. Unlike other teams in Apps, we are a DEV/OPS team (meaning we do all the development, and provided support and maintenance of the LIVE systems). We also operate as a ‘virtual’ team with members of Governance and Strategic Planning (GaSP) and Business Intelligence.

What does Information Services Group Portfolio do?

The BI Team develop and support Management/Strategic Information reporting solutions to the University via the EDW (Enterprise Data-Warehouse). It is considered a hub of accurate and consistent data taken from across the University, providing valuable insights for decision-making and strategic planning.

We have Org Hierarchy, Estates and HR running every night in LIVE, and are currently developing Student Applications. We mainly use a tool called Talend to ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) the data from the source systems (such as P&M and Archibus), into the Foundation Layer database which holds a complete change history of each data-set. This is then extracted into the various data-marts and reporting layers for users to run reports on using Power BI, SAP BI and advance analytics in Python.

How does this work connect with other Application sections?

Being a DEV/OPS team we implement all of our TEST/LIVE changes working very closely with Dev Tech on any infrastructure changes -Data-Base/Server/Table DDL/Files. Talend jobs are run on the TMC (Talend Management Console) and Dev-Tech manage the users and environments on the TMC. This means we have day-to-day contact with Dev Tech and have very good working relationship. We also work with Service Management team to manage BI tools and their use.

Are there any upcoming projects the team is excited about?

Absolutely. We are currently developing the Student Applications Tracker. This will deliver ten years of Application Data, allowing analysts to track:

  • Decisions/responses over an application cycle
  • The numbers of applications/acceptances/rejections to Colleges/Schools/Programmes per academic year
  • Widening participation applications

We are working closely with analysts in various UoE departments to deliver a solution that meet their needs. We are currently exploring opportunities in Research Management data and extensions to HR and switching the source of Estates data.

Are there any favourite topics of discussion among the team?

Food, food and more food! Sometimes films, music and what to do around Edinburgh. As we are a multinational team, information about culture and countries is one of the ongoing subjects.

Are there any special/hidden talents within the team?

  • Sailing
  • Marathon running
  • Table Tennis
  • Painting
  • Poetry

If you could take a guess, how many cups of tea/coffee/hot chocolate does the team get through on an average day?


In a sentence what makes Information Services Group Portfolio great?

We’re quite a sociable lot, enjoying team lunches etc., and we are a hard-working, collaborative and supportive team.

If you wish to get in touch…

To get in touch you can send us an email at To see the complete list of the datasets, and how to access them, please visit the Core Data Hub.

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