Get to Know Information Quest

When President Schlissel wanted a data-driven tool to track key strategies and goals, he turned to B&F.

Our colleagues at Information Quest (IQ) deliver data as a service to help U-M leaders make informed, strategic decisions. In response to the president’s need for reliable data, IQ partnered with the Office of Budget and Planning (OBP) to deliver an iPad-ready application of metrics that capture progress towards key goals in a record timeline. (You can check it out through a new web portal at

IQ is a team of 28 led by Executive Director Vijay Thiruvengadam. Their areas of expertise include data analysis, reporting, big data, data architecture, dashboards/visualizations, data integration and technical architecture, as well as a deep commitment to data stewardship. And whether you’ve heard of them or not, their work likely underpins and supports your data and information needs!

Visualizing Data With Tableau

One of IQ’s most visible projects has been the expansion of Tableau, a data visualization tool. In collaboration with OBP, IQ data experts design custom Tableau dashboards for the executive officers with reliable data. More broadly, they meet a high demand for training to help departments grow their Tableau skills. IQ co-hosts a Michigan Medicine “Tableau Fundamentals” training and quarterly Tableau community activities.

Developing Secure Connections

Another critical project for IQ that has grown rapidly in the last six months is the U-M API Directory. Never heard of an API (Application Programming Interface)? It’s an interface used to connect data products or services easily and securely.

At U-M, the API Directory is designed to reduce the cost of these connections. IQ partnered with ITS and Michigan Medicine IT to create a rich repository that allows developers and researchers to conveniently and securely use data from all U-M’s missions—teaching and learning, research, clinical care, public service and administration.

Providing Reliable Analysis & Reporting Platforms

IQ also maintains and supports M-Reports and BusinessObjects (BO). M-Reports enables university management and research leaders to make data-driven decisions. The web-based reporting tool is used by over 2,000 users per month. It allows efficient analysis of financial, student and HR data from multiple sources like M-Pathways, the U-M Data Warehouse and unit systems.

Over 6,000 users rely on BusinessObjects (BO) to access the U-M Data Warehouse. BO allows users to get information via central reports as well as to create ad-hoc reports as needed. The repository currently houses about 350,000 reports.

Stewarding Data – “Data-as-a-Service”

To meet their goals, IQ needs stable and accurate data. A large majority of their work focuses on maintaining and enhancing the U-M Data Warehouse and all of its components. The data warehouse is comprised of more than 20 data marts that cover the university-wide administrative systems as well as some unit-based systems. Thanks to the tireless work of the IQ team, our data warehouse is a model that other universities look to emulate.

Connect with IQ

IQ is committed to providing a comprehensive enterprise information architecture as well as robust services that ultimately enable our university community to work, live, and discover. To learn more or to request IQ collaboration for your department, contact IQ here.