College Uses Argos to Expand and Centralize Data Access
Nicolet College, a technical college in northern Wisconsin, was getting ready to migrate their ERP over to PowerCampus® by Ellucian. As part of their preparation, they conducted a business process review. This review revealed a need to improve how they did their reporting throughout the college.
Nicolet found their existing reporting system and structure to be laborious and inefficient. Reporting was spread out among different systems and applications on campus, with each one only able to report off its own data. It took a lot of effort to collate and compile the data from the various sources in order to make decisions affecting the college. They also needed to expand data access to all Nicolet staff members without having to install reporting software on every staff computer.
The decision was made to move to a centralized reporting structure that would enable them to make student and class data available to all full-time staff, as well as adjunct instructors.
Nicolet College saw that PowerCampus could be bundled with Argos, Evisions’ enterprise reporting solution. After seeing some demos and speaking with Argos end users at other institutions, they realized that Argos could be that forward thinking ‘one-stop shop’ they were looking for.
Nicolet’s implementation and training began in April of 2014. Within a few months, they had a couple of dozen DataBlocks created and in use by staff and administration. On the technical side, people who had never written a line of SQL code quickly found themselves able to do so thanks to Argos’ visual design tool.
With Argos in place, Nicolet was now able to provide real-time access to college data –informing everyone, from the Welcome Center staff who direct students to the academic deans who must evaluate their programs and courses. Key users include the Business Office, Registrar’s Office, academic departments, bookstore, Institutional Research, and IT.
One use of Argos the college didn’t initially anticipate, but has since made great use from, is the ability to enter data through dashboards. They have several dashboards that allow users to enter data into various databases, without requiring IT to build custom web applications.
The college uses Argos’s scheduling & delivery capabilities in many ways:
- A report of data entry issues is sent nightly to the Registrar’s Office. This automation of daily error checking reports encourages timely data corrections, which in turn has made the IT staff’s job of state reporting much easier and less time consuming.
- College advisors and financial aid staff are notified daily of students who add or drop classes. This assists financial aid staff in determining a student’s continued financial aid eligibility, and helps advisors be aware of students that may need assistance. Similarly, instructors are notified of any students who add or drop a class that is in session.
- An updated schedule of classes is sent to their website server nightly. These automated updates ensure that the public is always aware of their offerings, and has eliminated the need for staff to create and manually upload documents to the webserver.
- Learning management system (LMS) administrators are sent a daily report which gives the current build status of every course in the LMS (grade center, syllabi, open status) for the term. These reports help confirm that each course in the LMS is ready by its starting date.
Lastly, Nicolet College has added to their reporting abilities with Argos’s advanced features. The Strategic Enrollment Team uses the Interactive Charts to view historical enrollment and demographic trends in order to direct future enrollment efforts. The Business Office utilizes the OLAP Cubes for budget and expense tracking. And the API feature is used to provide a college-wide phone directory via SharePoint.