University Achieves Cost Effective Reporting in a Secure, User Friendly Manner
Rockhurst University found that trying to get information to all of their users was a daunting and time consuming task. The IT staff was flooded with numerous requests from staff for better access to information such as “how many students are enrolled this semester broken down by region and major?” or “how much is left in my budget right now?” These staff requests along with ever-growing reporting requirements from various state and local agencies highlighted the critical and urgent need for a reporting solution. To address this issue a committee was formed, which identified new products and possible existing solutions.
The committee determined that to be an effective solution the reporting tool had to meet the following criteria:
- Cost effective – with growing budgetary concerns, there was a major decision to be made between using what already existed, such as Microsoft’s Access, Oracle reports or expending funds on a better new tool
- Easy to use – Both report writers and end users needed a product that requires little training time
- Quickly deployed – Installing and maintaining software on multiple machines is not an option with limited staff resources and multiple technology projects
- Secure – of the highest security
The committee spent weeks compiling results. The night before a decision was to be made, a committee member was searching the Internet for reporting solutions and found the Evisions website with a press release describing Evisions Argos, a web based ad hoc reporting tool. The very next day the committee contacted Evisions CEO Kevin Jones to learn more about Argos.
An Evisions customer since 2000, Rockhurst prides itself on being early adopters of Evisions technology, and they now utilize all products in the Evisions Enterprise Suite, including: FormFusion, IntelleCheck and Argos. The reporting solution, Argos, was 1st installed and tested at Rockhurst in July 2004, well before it was advertised and generally available. The technology staff put Argos through a number of rigorous tests and built “best practices” and sample reports. Rockhurst also provided the Evisions development team with valuable feedback to ensure the product was tailored to higher education.
Argos was rolled out to end-users at Rockhurst in December, 2004 and has seen its user base and utility grow substantially since roll out.
Currently Argos is used for day-to-day functions such as:
- Admissions – Missing application items, cancelled applications, application test scores, application counts, letter generation & labels
- Alumni – Class gifts, campaign reports & pledges
- Finance – Budgetary breakdown by department, taxable sales, fiscal month by object codes, reconcile daily cash reports, calculate total sales, revenue & expense
- Registrar – Academic history, students by advisor, graduation audit, holds by student & student schedule
- IT – System and security administration & reporting
The benefits of Argos at Rockhurst include:
- Secure, encrypted, real-time access to information
- Shared report designs between departments enhanced collaboration
- Simplified data access as one tool works for multiple back-end databases
- Increased productivity (e.g. not having to wait every month for a printed budget report)
- Argos allows Rockhurst to access University data in a secure and quick way