Snap Shots | Case Studies | Evisions
Evisions In Action - Snap Shots

Clients like you are finding new and exciting ways to use Evisions products.  Evisions captures and releases thesecase  stories, which we call Snap Shots, regularly so check back often.


Have you had success with Evisions and want to be featured?  Contact us – we would love to hear from you.
 


The West Virginia Network for Educational Telecomputing (WVNet) is a data center that provides software services to universities, colleges and technical schools around the state. After WVNet implemented Banner by Ellucian® in 2005, its member schools started to work with various reporting systems. Some were using a 3rd party product, while others were writing straight SQL code to run reports. In most cases, the institutions were developing and running their reporting initiatives independently.

Although the individual reporting solutions were giving the schools the data they needed, it was very difficult to collaborate between institutions. It quickly became clear to WVNet that everyone would benefit from using a unified system that could be hosted centrally. In addition, with West Virginia being a small state with more limited resources, a centralized, collaborative reporting solution had the potential to save the member schools money on licensing fees and time on report development.

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Before September 2013, the researchers, investigators and administrators at University of San Diego (USD) were overburdened and often hindered by the University’s lack of a software solution for grant proposals. All proposals and approvals were routed via paper—meaning their staff were constantly running from office to office with large proposal packets. Their organization system involved color-coded pages for signatures, Adobe forms, and Excel for budgeting. Additionally, without an electronic system, administrators found it difficult to navigate sites like Grants.gov, the site for funding and applying for federal grants.

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In 2007, the Office of Research at the University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame) implemented its first electronic research administration solution. The goal was, foremost, to relieve the faculty’s administrative burden with a system that addressed the entire research life cycle: from finding funding opportunities through preparation and submission of the proposal, to award management, closeout, and effort reporting. Problems with the system and its implementation made it so the Office of Research’s goals were never met. Administrators and faculty, already burdened by a heavy workload, complained that the solution was very buggy and required a lot of effort to get anything done. It wasn’t intuitive and required a lot of training, so frustrations quickly mounted.

The system was also hosted on campus, which required constant maintenance and many resources from the University’s IT department. What’s more, when there were problems with the system, the implementation team found that support response was slow, and requests piled up. Weekly calls with the vendor on the status of the issues were still required long after the system was in use on campus.

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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.

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Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) fully implemented the Banner system in late 2010. After going live with the student module in the fall of 2010, the registrar’s office had many discussions about improving their baseline transcript. State schools in Texas are required to have a transcript that meets legislation-mandated regulations. SFA also had its own requirements and modifications that were necessary to enhance the presentation and readability of the transcripts. Furthermore, the SFA IT and registrar’s office staff were concentrating on the new Banner implementation and running parallel on their old system. This left limited resources to devote to customizing a transcript in house. SFA needed a solution that would give them the transcript they wanted without adding to the immediate and on-going workload of the staff.

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The reporting team at Jacksonville University (JU) has gone through more than their fair share of reporting implementations. For years, their primary reporting system was a combination of Colleague® by Ellucian®, its attendant ODS client and SAP’s Business Objects. rePORTAL, a web delivery and distribution system, was implemented to distribute the reports coming out of their system. In addition to this central reporting structure, JU had five legacy systems—from Excel and Access to manual extracts with SSIS, VBScript and Powershell—that were all seeing regular use.

Maintenance for all these systems was a perennial issue, and the 3-person reporting team was spending too much time on setup, security and dissemination. For the end users, if they were lucky enough to be in one of the five offices with the appropriate product licenses, they were still in the unenviable position of having to run reports ad hoc. For every individual report, the user had to start from scratch—every parameter had to be manually re-entered, every time. JU was in the market for a comprehensive reporting solution that would 1) make their data easier for the end users to interpret, 2) consolidate their reporting efforts into a single environment and 3) at a reasonable cost, make reporting available to a wider selection of departments.

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Before adopting the Argos Enterprise Reporting Solution from Evisions, the University of Leeds (Leeds) had two methods of generating reports, both of which suffered from substantial drawbacks.

First, there was a collection of reports created during the implementation of the Banner® by Ellucian® student information system in 2001. The level of skill required to create or modify those reports was a limited resource at the university. Thus, the Leeds reporting staff adopted a second method: generating basic reports ad hoc, using an ODBC connection to pull in data from Banner. Unfortunately, all this reporting was done at the department level, and there was no standardization from one user to the next.

The University of Leeds needed an intuitive, configurable solution that was centrally developed and maintained, yet available to the entire reporting community.

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For the Office of Research Services (ORS) at the University of Oklahoma (OU), customer service is a point of professional pride. The office is centralized and operates on a concierge model, coordinating the submission of all research proposals at OU. Twentyeight staff members provide cradle-to-grave support for OU’s research community, helping investigators prepare and submit an average of 800 proposals a year. As you might imagine, with that kind of volume and commitment to one-to-one support, the office puts a high premium on efficiency. 


In the summer of 2012, to reach a higher level of efficiency, ORS decided to make a change. A large percentage of OU’s funding comes from federal sources, and many of those proposals are submitted via the Grants.gov federal portal. At that time, OU’s procedure for Grants.gov proposals consisted of manually filling out paperwork using Adobe Forms, a lengthy, redundant process. The ORS was in the market for a tool that would help them streamline the process while eliminating any guesswork.

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At the beginning of 2011, the reporting situation at Butler Community College (Butler) was in need of a change. Although the school had implemented Banner® by Ellucian® student information system more than a decade before, their data was still largely siloed. Getting answers from the database was incredibly frustrating.

With no formal report development methodologies in place, reporting from one office to the next varied wildly. Legacy reports persisted, despite having outlived their usefulness. There were countless shadow systems in play, raising serious data management and security issues. College-wide, reporting was by and large a manual affair, which often meant hard-coded values, undocumented processes, and ill-defined terminology.

As a result of all these factors, confidence in the accuracy of the data was incredibly low. There were no assurances that the numbers coming out of one department would match the numbers from another. Report recipients had to resort to validating the data themselves, before they felt safe using it for any decision-making. All in all, Butler needed two things: A new system for producing their reports and an overhaul of their data governance environment as a whole.

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Quick and consistent access to data is key to the success of Lehigh University’s Advancement Office (Lehigh). Lehigh recognized Argos, the Enterprise Reporting Solution from Evisions, as the solution to improve their access to Advancement data, as well as the quality of the data. Argos provides for a customer relationship management system (CRM) containing tactical and detailed reports along with a 360 degree view of their customer/constituent base. The CRM includes a prospect finder, ability to enter call reports, online & pre-formatted donor profile reports and dashboards that are customized to each Advancement Officer.

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