Empowering the Workforce and Improving Communication to the Campus Community: Achieved with ODS and Argos
Missouri State University
Missouri State University needed to make it easier for its faculty and staff to generate operational and ad-hoc reports. Some of these reports contained sensitive data which made information security a major concern. They also wanted to have a comprehensive set of tools that could generate dashboards and other summary reports which would quickly provide information to individuals at all levels.
The Banner Operational Data Store (ODS) and the Argos software by Evisions provides the answer to Missouri State’s reporting requirements.
The purpose of the ODS is to provide a dataset that is easier and more efficient to query than the production tables. Using the ODS for reporting prevents production response-time issues that can be caused by long-running queries. The ODS provides enterprise-wide data for operational and ad hoc reporting with a consistent view of institutional data. In addition, the ODS allows more people to be designers and facilitates the use of Online Analytical Processing (OLAP). For these reasons, Missouri State uses the ODS as their primary query and reporting source.
To maximize the return on their investment in the Operational Data Store, Missouri State partnered with Evisions and purchased the Argos Enterprise Reporting Solution. Argos has been very well received by the Missouri State University community. Missouri State purchased the Evisions’ Argos software in April 2008 and in less than a year Argos was rolled out campus wide.
Since roll-out, Missouri State has developed over 300 production reports and have trained:
- 70+ DataBlock Designers
- 156+ Report Writers
- 1,000+ Faculty/Staff Viewers
With unlimited Argos user licenses, Missouri State has been able to distribute and take full advantage of the ODS. Missouri State likes the English names for the fields in ODS and Argos’ ability to add additional aliases. Calculations and flags such as GPA and Registered (Y/N) are easier to find with Argos. Basic users find the Argos visual designer to be helpful in generating simple queries. More experienced users are able to add more sophisticated SQL to generate more complicated queries and reports. Because Argos is web based, campus-wide roll-out was relatively straightforward.
Missouri State uses Argos in a variety of departments and for a variety of uses including:
- Unofficial transcripts to faculty advisors
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reporting
- YTD financial summary reports
- Reports in Finance, HR, Student Information and IR
- Financial Aid – Automated reporting such as spring packaging reports and student loan reporting
- Argos OLAP to present census data instead of static PDF files
Missouri State makes use of public and private folders for development and production purposes. They also take advantage of Argos’ security capability to fine tune access to sensitive information. Missouri State developed their own training classes and also uses Evisions’ live and recorded Argos trainings. The users and technical team are happy with Argos and the things they can do with it.