May 2019

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Sharing ESR BI Good Practice

The South West region is driving up its use of ESR BI – in part due to the Payroll community who are keen to ensure that the benefits from sharing their knowledge and experience of ESR BI will encourage organisations across the region to use ESR BI for all their workforce reporting needs.

The Business Support Team of Gloucestershire Shared Services (hosted by Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS FT) adopted the full use of ESR BI shortly after its release in April 2013. Due to this increased level of exposure, the organisation has developed a team of very knowledgeable BI users that have a wide range of knowledge and experience using the national dashboards and through the development of their own local reports.  Hayley Harper-Smith, Head of Payroll and Payments at Gloucestershire Shared Services who heads up this team recently ran an interactive BI workshop to share the knowledge and experience their team has gained with colleagues in the South West region.

Prior to the workshop the attendees were asked to complete a questionnaire to help the Business Support Team tailor the session to meet everyone’s learning needs. The questionnaire was designed to establish the attendees’ competency level in a range of BI functions, including creating an analysis, creating a dashboard, editing an analysis, delivering an analysis, creating folders and setting permissions.  Attendees were also asked to put forward any specific questions in advance of the workshop and provide details of any particular report creation they needed further guidance on.

Hayley and Joe Long, Senior Business Support Analyst kicked the day off with a presentation explaining how they have utilised BI and highlighting its full capabilities - they also demonstrated how they had not only written reports, but also how they had set up permissions so that others can access them.  The day also included how BI can be used to generate data that supports other business processes; whether that is using the data alongside other non ESR data, or where it can used to produce graphical representation of data or how data can be used to populate documents to reduce manual data entry.

With a Q&A led by the NHS ESR teams’ Chris Holdroyd and a practical workshop that included an exercise for the delegates to log in to ESR and produce a simple report, the workshop gave the attendees the opportunity to put in to practice what they had learnt in the morning session. Having accessed ESR via Smartcard they had the added bonus of being able to save the report to utilise back in their own Trust.

The workshop was well received with attendees saying how useful and informative the day was.


The presentations and additional notes have been shared with the attendees and the South West Payroll SIG members, helping others in the region to learn more about ESR BI, and Hayley is hoping to increase collaboration in the region by collating information on the reports organisations have already written or would like to create.  This will then be shared across the region and where a common need is identified, the region will look to propose a further development to the NHS ESR team.


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