Achieving Cuyahoga Community College’s Business Intelligence Goals with Argos
Cuyahoga Community College
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) has, for years, been a higher education leader for its use of business intelligence and data. It took many years and a few missteps to get to a point where running reports was a seamless process and data was widely accessed across its four campuses.
When Tri-C first began to expand its analytics practices in 2005, they were working with a software package that’s used in many fields, including business and higher education. But its implementation never expanded college-wide. After a year and a half, the college realized that they had underestimated the costs associated with using the software on a large scale, and it would be cost-prohibitive to expand. End users also didn’t have the SQL writing skill set that was needed to expand its use.
In 2007, Tri-C began developing a homegrown analytics system, which made more report data available, but at a cost to staff time and IT resources. Unfortunately, during peak times like enrollment, users had to limit their use during certain hours of the day. In 2011, Tri-C added two new products to its Banner® by Ellucian offering: Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) and Operational Data Store (ODS). These two analytics databases for current and historical information could expand TriC’s reporting capabilities, but Tri-C needed a new reporting solution that could handle the institution’s needs
After reviewing several solutions, Argos by Evisions was selected. It was the best fit for Tri-C, first, because of its ease of use. End users could hit the ground running with Argos from day one, without requiring SQL training. Additionally, Tri-C desired an enterprise license, as opposed to one that would be paid per user, as the college was planning to give access to hundreds of users. Argos, which allows unlimited users, presented the most affordable and accessible solution.
After a seamless Argos implementation in August 2011—it took just a week to get it up and running—Tri-C began creating reports and dashboards. The first place report writers looked for help and inspiration was the Evisions CO-OP, which gave them baseline reports and downloadable examples, so reports could be created and put into the hands of users very quickly. One report developer was even able to download a complete dashboard from the CO-OP, which he then modified for use in less than a week. Users no longer have any restrictions on when they can access Banner or Argos during peak times. Everyone can go about their daily routines as needed.
Even more impressive than Tri-C’s smooth Argos implementation is how the college has leveraged the solution to meet its institutional goals. In 2013, the college decided one of its top priorities was for Tri-C to use metrics to measure student success and completion. Tri-C created an all-college dashboard that gives any user a “state of the union” of how the college is doing at a given time, or year-over-year. The dashboard includes data on how every department and unit—from financial aid to facilities—is contributing to student success. Included are varied metrics such as crime incidents reported, help desk satisfaction, social media followers, textbook costs, enrollment, revenue, and more. Now, every user better understands his or her role in contributing to student success at Tri-C. As the college increases its use of business intelligence in strategic planning, Argos is the solution that will guide Tri-C into the future.