Using Argos to Help Students and Staff Succeed
Part Time Faculty/Staff
Until five years ago, SUNY Adirondack, a State University of New York institution had no tools for compiling reports. Even when the college implemented Banner® by Ellucian eight years ago, SUNY Adirondack’s IT department had to manually compile all of the institution’s reports and even coordinate email blasts. One designated full-time employee was charged with writing and running sequences in their legacy system from scratch, then gathering and sending the results manually to departments.
Without a reporting tool, the admissions office couldn’t easily communicate with prospective students for short-term recruitment programs like open houses, couldn’t do as much research as they wanted on their applicants, and couldn’t conduct carefully targeted recruitment efforts.
SUNY Adirondack also wasn’t able to use their data on current students to its full potential, for example, using it to help them identify students who were struggling academically. Because their reporting process was laborious, slow and limited, SUNY Adirondack wasn’t going beyond the tip of the iceberg in terms of using analytics to help students.
After SUNY Adirondack transitioned to Banner® the staff decided to implement Argos Enterprise Reporting Solution, because it gave end users the opportunity to create and run reports on their own. Since implementation, Argos has saved SUNY Adirondack’s IT staff and other departments immeasurable amounts of time and granted them invaluable insights into their students’ needs.
For IT especially, Argos freed staff from having to write the same code over and over, when other departments requested reports. After years of a limited number of static reports, department directors have found that they can not only get information faster on their own with Argos, but that they have access to a wider range of data. The college has quadrupled the number of reports it uses.
With this newfound data, the college is beginning to seize opportunities to enhance recruitment and student retention. In the registrar’s office, the staff is able to check which students are not in compliance with New York State standards for immunizations and to verify students’ attendance in classes for certification with a few clicks. Instead of scrolling through years’ worth of room scheduling data for events and classes as staffers had to do in the past, reports now give staffers only the relevant information they need.
Busy admissions counselors can better connect with applicants now that they can manage their own email blasts to prospective students — notifying them of upcoming recruitment events and open houses — instead of relying on IT to do so. Staffers have also started to conduct more targeted recruitment since Argos was implemented, because they have access to so much more information than ever before. Communication with certain cohorts of applicants from say, a certain area has improved. Admissions counselors are now better able to track where students are coming from to identify trends.
The reports generated by Argos have also begun to help the college identify students who are struggling academically. During the Spring 2014 term, SUNY Adirondack IT staffers wrote a report in Argos that flagged students who had two or more C’s on their midterm report cards. Those students were reached out to with information about tutoring and advising. The college is hopeful that with Argos they can be more proactive in helping students and improving retention going forward.
With the implementation of Argos at SUNY Adirondack, reporting has matured. Instead of using reports purely for day-to-day operations on campus, departments at the college have been able to look at more analytic data. Departments will continue to use their expanded access to information and data to improve the student experience while saving the staff precious time, resources and effort.