Strategic Intelligence is also responsible for the following:
Prof Linda du Plessis
Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Integrated Planning and
Vaal Triangle Campus Operations
Jansen van Vuuren
Strategic Intelligence (IPSI)
Director Strategic Intelligence
Did you know?
The information produced by Strategic Intelligence is available to any NWU staff member who has access to the data and reporting environment.
The only exception is when personal information, which falls under the Protection of Personal Information Act, is part of the data request. In this case, a formal application to access information must be submitted to the NWU’s Corporate Information and Governance Services.
Strategic Intelligence has a reporting portal on the staff intranet where various types of data are available, including student, staff and research data. This portal is accessible to all staff by using their university usernames and passwords. (Go to the staff intranet and click on Resources in the top bar, and then on Strategic Intelligence: HEDA Dashboards.)
Sometimes the data that a user may require will be of a more detailed or complex nature. These requests can be sent to Ronell Pietersen.
*IPSI also consists of two other units, namely Quality Enhancement (see previous Eish!) and Institutional Research (the latter still has to be developed). The line manager of IPSI is Prof Linda du Plessis, who is the deputy vice-chancellor for planning and campus operations in Vanderbijlpark.
Integrated Planning and
Strategic Intelligence (IPSI)
Strategic Intelligence ensures a competitive advantage. By understanding trends, risks and opportunities within the higher education sector, senior management can successfully steer the planning of the NWU towards attaining its goals.
This is according to Jan-Hendrik Viljoen, manager of Strategic Intelligence which is part of the unit for *Integrated Planning and Strategic Intelligence (IPSI) that was established during the recent restructuring of the NWU.
More about Strategic Intelligence
The concept of strategic intelligence has its roots in the military environment, but its implementation and value is much wider and can be applied to most institutions these days, says Jan-Hendrik.
Strategic intelligence combines concepts such as management information, business intelligence, competitive intelligence and knowledge management.
In the case of the NWU, strategic intelligence is used to identify and interpret higher education data to compare and investigate the NWU’s position in the sector. The value of the intelligence is that it allows the user to identify risks and opportunities, and to make recommendations on how to mitigate the risks and exploit the opportunities.
Jan-Hendrik explains that in the past his department had a strong focus on providing datasets to users without interrogating the data or providing deeper insight into it. There has since been a shift in focus towards providing tactical information and creating knowledge by means of data mining, statistical and predictive modelling, among others. This information is then used in executing the NWU’s strategy and managing daily operations.
Strategic intelligence and information analysis also form part of the problem-solving process by giving decision makers the opportunity to consider various scenarios on future developments, patterns, threats, risks and opportunities.
A practical example
A good example of the type of data discovery done is the investigation that Strategic Intelligence did last year into the success of students in extended programmes. The team members looked at student performance in the various programmes and the influence of various performance indicators, such as matric results, Admission Point Scores (APS) and language.
Recommendations about possible interventions, such as revisiting the admission requirements, were then made to management.
Strategic Intelligence digs deep for insights
In this article in our series about structures at the NWU, we take a look at Strategic Intelligence, which was formerly known as Management Information.