Meeting Reporting Demands That Result from Institutional Growth
Concordia University Portland
Concordia University Portland experienced a period of explosive growth, and their reporting processes struggled to keep up with the new demands. Although Banner was the school’s primary system of record, some departments used other programs, and the data for those programs was not easily accessible to outside departments. Even in Banner, information reporting across departments was inconsistent, as each department created and managed its own database reports. Reports were not being updated when processes and policies changed, resulting in even more confusion. Many reports had no documentation and were being used in situations where the data provided was not suitable for the way it was being used. Major stakeholders had a lack of confidence in the integrity of the data they were seeing since they were unable to validate that data against Banner or other departments.
The Applications and Technology Solutions team at Concordia University established three major goals they wanted to achieve. Their first goal was to ensure that all reports were pulled from the correct data sources and matched University policies and procedures (including privacy practices). Secondly, they needed to rebuild confidence in the use of institutional data. Finally, they needed to ensure the smooth integration of the various systems used by the university.
Evisions Argos proved to be the solution Concordia University Portland needed to achieve all their reporting goals. Their initial roll out focused on the Finance Department, creating datablocks and reports based on their most frequent data needs. Finance was chosen because they had significant, clearly defined reporting needs and would benefit from being able to run reports on demand. In addition, they represented some of the University’s most sophisticated data users and were eager to take advantage of Argos’s many features. As each datablock and report was created, they went through an intensive process where the results were validated by Finance against the raw Banner data so that the department could be confident they were getting the information they needed. They securely managed access to these reports by limiting access to the Argos folders based on user roles.
Finance was thrilled with the results and took on the role of a lighthouse customer as the University began to roll out Argos to other departments. Their positive experience encouraged other departments to get on board.
In the less than two years since Concordia University Portland first deployed Argos, they created more than 500 validated reports that are used at all levels of the University. Argos has been widely adopted across departments. Some of the highlights of their reporting include: executive dashboards, NSLDS reports, invoices for tuition-based partnership agreements, and comparisons between enrollment models and live admissions results.
In addition, they are now automating emails for required student notifications, scheduling audit reports that notify Finance, Financial Aid, or the Registrar’s Office when needed, and seeing the automated transfer of data between Banner and other solutions in use throughout the University.
The rapid implementation of Argos allowed Concordia University Portland to achieve their three goals: validating their data reporting and usage, rebuilding user confidence, and increasing the integration of University systems. It has also allowed them to increase end user data availability, improve data integrity throughout the University, and increase the amount of relevant data available for use in decision making. End users have enthusiastically adopted Argos and rave about its flexibility and ease of use. Argos has allowed them to dramatically improve their data utilization and continues to inspire their Applications and Technology Solutions team as they utilize it to create efficient and accessible data reporting.
Argos has been an invaluable tool for making information instantly accessible to multiple functional users across the university. With just a few clicks (or a scheduled email), it has made audit reports simple to pull whenever needed and has helped increase our ability to stay compliant. Argos has also changed the way we think about reports and how data can be made accessible to multiple users.Tim Spahn
Transitioning to Argos provided Concordia the opportunity to move from inefficient, ineffective reporting practices to a mature, consistent reporting model driven by our end-users, during a time
of dramatic growth. This was made possible by an intuitive user experience and by the amazing support of the Evisions implementation team, whose guidance made the adoption process much smoother.
Argos provides the Finance department with reporting for baseline decision making within Accounts Receivable and Payroll. In Finance and Accounting it increases the ability to divide and conquer what data is in our broad spectrum analytics, which is used for high-level assessment and evaluations. Argos makes our annual audit processes much more accurate, and has increased efficiency by the push of a ‘Run’ icon! What took hours and days to extract, now takes minutes – in the single digits!Debbie Zawada