Umoja Business Intelligence is a key part of the new UN ERP system. It gives management and staff quick and easy self-service access to reporting tools and data from Umoja and other enterprise systems. Over time, these tools will help them to change how planning and decisions happen at the UN. Many of the benefits promised by Umoja are related to replacing hundreds of siloed applications with a centralized system for conducting critical business processes. In the past, reporting on these processes was a difficult, time consuming, and often manual technical process. Most business transactions will now take place in one system, and Umoja BI is already providing rapid, simple, self-service access to enterprise-wide information for stakeholders.
In the past few months, Umoja moved the BI platform onto a state-of-the-art, cutting-edge database platform called SAP HANA. This in-memory database increases performance, permits integration of multiple sources of data (not just Umoja), and best of all allows faster delivery of new reports for end users.
Locations using Umoja now are already experiencing the transformative benefits of the system. Managers and staff use Umoja BI for quick visibility into financial and procurement data to support planning, analysis, and decision-making. Specific tools in use now include dashboards with high-level information on budgetary and procurement activity, standardized reports for communicating with senior management and governing bodies, and ad-hoc reporting for process monitoring, exception reporting, and investigation of questions that were previously difficult or impossible to answer.
One current example is the Umoja Management Dashboard, which shows an up-to-date view of the overall financial and procurement health of Peacekeeping and Special Political Missions. This view is used by Headquarters and mission management for high-level analysis and to drill down to details to determine if action must be taken in specific areas.
With the full deployment of Umoja, more interesting analysis will become possible – for example, detailed analysis of trends of expenditure in travel across the organization, allowing for negotiation of better discounts and adjustments to travel policies. This global view of data will also be applied to make better use of systems contracts by finding opportunities for cost savings in procurement.
The Umoja BI module, using Business Objects tools familiar to many users at the UN, is a robust reporting and data visualization platform which provides UN staff and managers with easy self-service tools to search, view and analyze a variety of metrics, reports, and key performance indicators.
For a quick tour of the Umoja BI tools and functionality, take a look at this introductory video.
While many of the initial benefits to Umoja BI come from this streamlined access to integrated data, over time the Umoja HANA platform will enable more sophisticated tools for planning and simulating the impact of policy and strategic decisions. For example, by combining data from Inspira and Umoja, it will be possible to identify changes to recruitment processes to benefit job-seekers. Combining data from different systems will also allow staff and managers to better demonstrate their results and achievements in tangible terms.
USG Takasu recently emphasized the importance and opportunities available through Umoja BI, noting that “new roles for staff will emerge as new data and information becomes available, which in turn will enable the Organization to manage information in a more strategic manner and to act upon data through ‘business intelligence’.” Umoja is currently developing a comprehensive BI training program as part of the Umoja Academy for managers and staff to enable and accelerate this key aspect of the benefits of Umoja.
The Umoja BI tools are straightforward to access and use – very little technical training is needed to run and use reports in the system. There are several courses available now in Inspira, and the upcoming BI training program will provide materials for staff to use for self-guided training even if they are unable to join training sessions in person.
In the coming weeks, Umoja will launch a collaborative online community for managers, staff, and technical reporting teams to share tips, exchange experiences, and answer questions about current and future reporting abilities in Umoja BI on Unite Connections – the team will be updating this community over time, so come back for updates.
For more information on Umoja, visit our website http://umoja.un.org