Professor Karen Cox

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, The University of Nottingham

Professor Karen Cox took up office as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham on the 1st January 2013. A Professor of Cancer and Palliative Care and a Registered Nurse she was previously a Pro-Vice Chancellor and a former head of The School of Nursing. As Deputy Vice Chancellor she reports directly to the Vice-Chancellor. She has executive responsibility for driving the delivery of the University’s Strategic Plan.

Professor Cox graduated from King’s College London with a BSc (Hons) and her RGN qualification. She has held a number of clinical posts in Oxford, Southampton, Gloucestershire and Nottingham, specialising in Oncology and Community Health Care. At The University of Nottingham she completed her PhD via a Cancer Research Campaign Research Fellowship, during which she was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. She was appointed a Professor in 2002.

Professor Karen Cox

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John Simpson

Founding Director, Simpson Associates

Simpson Associates is one of the longest established Information Management specialists in the UK. John trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in the 1970’s and is now a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Formerly a Financial Controller with Black & Decker and IT Director of Agfa UK he is able to provide a wealth of business and technical expertise to customers. Simpson Associates, founded in 1991, is an IBM Cognos Business Analytic partner, a Microsoft Gold Partner specialising in Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence solutions and a BOARD MIT strategic partner. In his role of Business Development Director John has developed long term partnerships with customers for over twenty years guiding them through the process of developing information management solutions enabling them to deliver real business benefit.


John Rome

Deputy CIO and BI Strategist, Arizona State University

John Rome is Deputy CIO and 20+ year employee of Arizona State University (ASU). ASU is the largest public university in the United States, offering over 250 academic programs and majors. John started his career at ASU in the Information Technology Department and has worked under or closely with a variety of departments including: Institutional Research, the President's Office, Data Administration, Budget Department and the Provost Office. He has led ASU's application development, ERP systems (Peoplesoft), Business Intelligence (BI) and Academic Technology. John is a pioneer of Data Warehousing in Higher Education, building ASU's 1st data warehouse around 1992. Since that time, he has coached Higher Education institutions and industry on how to build data warehouses, best practices and the strategic importance of BI. He has focused the last 6 years on dashboards/design/academic analytics and most recently, big data. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Clarke University (Iowa) and a MBA from Arizona State University.


Dr Thomas Loya

Director of the Planning & Management Information Division, University of Nottingham

Dr Loya earned his MA and PhD in Sociology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His research and publications focused on structure, culture and change in large international organisations, principally NGOs. From 1997 to 2007 he worked in the UK software and financial services industry, most lately in the Product Development and Corporate Divisions of Experian Ltd, introducing corporate standards programmes to drive product harmonisation, user-centred interface design, content quality and accessibility of browser-delivered software and services across Internet, extranet, and intranet channels. He managed the introduction of an enterprise CMS across the company’s UK and Asia-Pacific operations and the unification of internal communications into a single corporate intranet.

He joined the University of Nottingham in 2007 as Director of the Planning & Management Information Division, whose remit encompasses support for University and academic unit strategy development, market intelligence research, student statutory submissions, student number and income forecasting and strategic risk management. The Division shifted its forecasting model to Cognos Planning in 2008, and in 2009 began developing the University’s data warehouse and MI reporting environment – live since 2011 – on the IBM Cognos platform. The University takes a user-centric and transparent approach to MI and performance reporting, so its MI Hub is available to all staff.

Thomas Loya

Andy Kirk

Director, Visualising Data Ltd.

Andy Kirk is a UK-based freelance data visualisation architect, consultant, training provider, author and editor of the website, a popular data visualisation blog.

After graduating from Lancaster University in 1999 with a B.Sc (hons) in Operational Research, he held a number of business analysis and information management positions at some of the largest organisations in the UK. Late 2006 provided Andy with his career-changing ‘eureka’ moment when he discovered the subject of data visualisation. He has subsequently pursued a passion in this subject, completing a research Masters M.A (With Distinction) at the University of Leeds in 2009.

In February 2010 he launched ‘’ with the mission of providing readers with inspiring insights into the contemporary techniques, resources, applications and best practices in this exciting subject. His consultancy work and training courses extend this ambition, helping organisations of all shapes, sizes and domains master the analysis and communication of their data. Some of his most recent clients include Microsoft, Disney, Intel and McKinsey.

Andy has just released his first book entitled Data Visualization: a successful design process”, a handy strategy guide for anyone facing the challenges of designing a data visualization and wanting to accomplish an effective solution in the most efficient way.

Andy Kirk

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Data Ltd.


Andy is also running a workshop on Thursday 27 February 2013.

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Dr Giles Carden

Director of Strategic Planning & Analytics, University of Warwick

Giles Carden has 17 years experience of working in the university sector in both the UK and Germany. After completing a postdoctoral research fellowship in geochemistry at Ruhr-Universität Bochum he joined the University of Warwick's administration late in 1997. He has occupied 7 different roles at Warwick over the past 15 years in research services, planning, space management and capital developments. He has implemented major online registry systems, and currently sits on the University's Campus and Commercial Services Group. In 2006/7 he directed operations for the University's RAE2008 return and he is currently coordinating its REF2014 submission. In 2006/7 Giles served as an RAE2008 panel advisor, he currently chairs the Brunswick Research Assessment Group and sits on the National Planning Group Executive.

When Giles became Director of Management Information and Planning 5 years ago he made it his priority that Warwick develop an advanced business analytics and performance management capability, the objective being to leverage competitive advantage and underpin strategy development and execution. Warwick is now recognised as having one of the most advanced business analytics capabilities in the HE Sector.

In 2011 Giles advised Professor Sir Ian Diamond on operational benchmarking for his review of Efficiency and Effectiveness in HE. In 2012 he was invited by the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s CEO to act as a consultant on its International Benchmarking project. He currently sits on the UUK Operational Benchmarking project team and JISC Gold Open Access Steering Group.
Giles Carden

Desmond Butcher

Service Owner - Management Information and Identity Management, University of Warwick

Since 2002 Des has been responsible for the delivery of a Management Information, having selected and procured the IBM Cognos BI and Enterprise Planning tool set as its basis. He is also responsible for Identity Management, based on a combination of in-house, Novel and Microsoft technology.

Prior to joining the University of Warwick Des was a Senior Consultant with a leading software solution & services company, leading work across multiple Oracle applications, Content Management and ERP System implementations across a range of sectors. His earlier career was in the auto industry, working with Ford across a number of European countries and the US, in production line management, vehicle and powertrain development risk management, and engine test systems.

Desmond Butcher



David Stephenson

Technical Manager, IBM UK

David has worked for both BI vendors and directly for end user organisations over the last 23 years, through from the early "executive information systems" to todays "corporate performance management" solutions. Starting with Cognos 17 years ago in pre-sales, David worked in multiple vertical markets before moving to a secondment in development in Ottawa, Canada, where he was the product manager for the well known PowerPlay product line for several years. Back in the UK for the last 8 years, David now manages a group of pre-sales professionals within the Business Analytics arm of IBM software group, supporting finance, health and education.

avid Stephenson

Neil Davidson

Institutional Reporting Team Leader and DW/BI Business System Owner

Neil has worked in UK Higher Education since 1998, mainly in a student number reporting capacity, and joined the University of Nottingham in 2003. He has been in the role of Institutional Reporting Team Leader and DW/BI Business System Owner since 2006, initially focusing on Student Number and Income Forecasting using Cognos Enterprise Planning, and in the last 3 years has additionally taken on the role of System Owner for the University's data warehouse and MI reporting environment, launching the MI Hub in November 2011.

Neil Davidson 



John Day

Head of Group IT, RPMI

Providing trusted pensions services for their clients and members has been RPMI’s passion for over 45 years. During this time they have built a solid reputation for the quality of the services provided and the professionalism and expertise of their staff. They currently look after the pension needs of over 200 clients and care for over 500,000 scheme members throughout their pension lifecycle.

John Day is responsible for establishing and executing the corporate IT strategy at RPMI through technology enhancement, the provision of product and solution direction, process improvement and consistency of service delivery. Working with David Teasdale, the Finance Director, John and his team have been responsible for the implementation of the RPMI Dashboard and Scorecard project.

John Day



Dashboarding for Peak University Performance

East Midlands Conference Centre
University Park
Nottingham NG7 2RJ