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A business intelligence framework for sustainability information management in higher education

A business intelligence framework for sustainability information management in higher education PurposeHigher education institutions (HEIs) face a number of challenges in effectively managing and reporting on sustainability information, such as siloes of data and a limited distribution of information. Business intelligence (BI) can assist in addressing the challenges faced by organisations. The purpose of this study was to propose a BI framework for strategic sustainability information management (the Sustainable BI Framework) that can be used in HEIs.Design/methodology/approachThe research applied the design science research methodology whilst using a South African HEI as a case study. The problems with sustainability information management were identified, and a theoretical framework was proposed. In addition, a practical BI software tool was developed as proof of concept to address these problems and to assist with the management of strategic sustainability information in an HEI.FindingsThe proposed sustainability BI tool was evaluated through heuristic and usability evaluations with senior management. The results indicated that the usability of the BI tool was positively rated and that the framework can assist in overcoming the constraints that HEIs face in effectively managing sustainability information.Research limitations/implicationsThe research was limited to a single case. However, the theoretical framework was derived from and expanded on existing stakeholder theory, sustainability reporting theory and literature on BI dashboard development. The framework was implemented successfully in the Sustainable BI Tool prototype at the case study, and the results reveal in-depth information regarding information management for sustainability reporting in higher education.Practical implicationsThe Sustainable BI Tool is a solution that integrates data from multiple areas of sustainability and provides a single integrated view of the information to stakeholders. The information is provided through performance dashboards, which provide predictive capabilities to enable management to report on sustainability and determine if the institution is meeting its strategic goals. The lessons learnt can also assist other HEIs considering implementing BI for sustainability reporting.Social implicationsImproved sustainability reporting for HEIs provided by the BI framework can improve the environmental and social impact of the educational community.Originality/valueThis study provides the most comprehensive framework for guiding the design of a BI tool to assist in effectively managing sustainability information in HEIs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

A business intelligence framework for sustainability information management in higher education

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References (71)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1467-6370
DOI
10.1108/IJSHE-06-2016-0118
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeHigher education institutions (HEIs) face a number of challenges in effectively managing and reporting on sustainability information, such as siloes of data and a limited distribution of information. Business intelligence (BI) can assist in addressing the challenges faced by organisations. The purpose of this study was to propose a BI framework for strategic sustainability information management (the Sustainable BI Framework) that can be used in HEIs.Design/methodology/approachThe research applied the design science research methodology whilst using a South African HEI as a case study. The problems with sustainability information management were identified, and a theoretical framework was proposed. In addition, a practical BI software tool was developed as proof of concept to address these problems and to assist with the management of strategic sustainability information in an HEI.FindingsThe proposed sustainability BI tool was evaluated through heuristic and usability evaluations with senior management. The results indicated that the usability of the BI tool was positively rated and that the framework can assist in overcoming the constraints that HEIs face in effectively managing sustainability information.Research limitations/implicationsThe research was limited to a single case. However, the theoretical framework was derived from and expanded on existing stakeholder theory, sustainability reporting theory and literature on BI dashboard development. The framework was implemented successfully in the Sustainable BI Tool prototype at the case study, and the results reveal in-depth information regarding information management for sustainability reporting in higher education.Practical implicationsThe Sustainable BI Tool is a solution that integrates data from multiple areas of sustainability and provides a single integrated view of the information to stakeholders. The information is provided through performance dashboards, which provide predictive capabilities to enable management to report on sustainability and determine if the institution is meeting its strategic goals. The lessons learnt can also assist other HEIs considering implementing BI for sustainability reporting.Social implicationsImproved sustainability reporting for HEIs provided by the BI framework can improve the environmental and social impact of the educational community.Originality/valueThis study provides the most comprehensive framework for guiding the design of a BI tool to assist in effectively managing sustainability information in HEIs.

Journal

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 5, 2018

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