MInE Decommissioning: General Announcement

by Cathy McVey, IT Services

With nearly 100K reports executed over the past year, MInE (Miami Information Environment) is a mighty tool in the arsenal of Miami employees who generate operational reports. From course rosters to monthly budget reports, MInE takes Banner data and creates snapshots that guide decisions across the University. You may be surprised to learn that by Spring 2018, MInE will no longer exist.

Why would Miami eliminate a tool that has served us well for nearly 20 years? As with many other things, this is a case of an aging solution and a younger, fresher tool kit ready to take its place.

To be less cryptic, Miami’s MInE portal runs on a version of Linux that will not be supported after May 2018. Complicating the situation, SQR, the language that MInE reports are written in, will also be facing end of life. The SQR issue* is likely 4-5 years in the future, but it certainly adds fuel to the retirement decision.

Over the past 8 years, Miami has been growing its Business Intelligence (BI) capabilities. The looming May deadline offers a perfect opportunity to expand the use of our OBIEE tool set. A project designed to identify MInE reports to be retired and then rebuild the remaining reports in the OBIEE BI Publisher tool by this spring has been launched.

Hammer and wrench crossed graphic

A project Steering Team, populated from each vice presidential unit, is charged with making Miami’s transition from MInE to BI efficient and painless. The team’s first assignment is to review all of the existing reports in the MInE system, asking three questions:

  1. Is this report still being used?
  2. Does this report provide unique data?
  3. Which reports in my division are the most important?

The Steering Team has a big job in front of them. Looking at the past 12 months, approximately 1000 unique reports have been used. The number of times each specific report runs varies widely. The top 15 each ran over 1000 times, but there are 400 that ran less that 10 times. The MInE portal also has reports that have not been run in the last 12 months. Are those no longer relevant, or is the need for the data provided rare, but important?

Once a list of reports to be retained is created and the priority of each is established, IT Services’ contractors will rewrite each MInE report in BI Publisher. The goal is to write the new reports with minimal change. As each report is completed, it will be tested to ensure the information provided meets the needs.

Each Steering Team member will work with staff in their division to ensure that appropriate training is provided. There will be opportunities to learn how to write reports in the BI Publisher tool as well as more basic, how-to instructions for individuals who need to run reports.

This discovery phase is happening now and should be complete by the end of October. Watch for more information about which reports are being rewritten and the schedule for the remainder of the project. In the meanwhile, if you have questions about the MInE decommissioning project, contact project leader Phyllis Wykoff, director, business intelligence center.

*There are non-MInE SQR reports in the Miami technology environment. This project will not touch those reports. However, when Miami moves to ORACLE 13, SQR will not be supported. That move is 4-5 years away and decisions about all remaining SQR reports will need to be made as part of that move.