College Gets Back 75% of Their Time Collecting and Connecting Data
Barstow Community College
Barstow Community College is a small, rural 2-year public institution in the Mojave region of San Bernardino County, California. Their Office of Institutional Research (OIR) is tasked with providing the necessary data and information to improve decision making throughout all areas of the college. Often, these data requests require them to merge data from multiple sources into one usable datapoint.
To create the necessary reports, the OIR must pull in data from sources such as National Student Clearinghouse (NSCH), CTEOS, and the Chancellor’s office MIS referential data. This data comes in various forms: Microsoft Excel, text, and comma separated value (CSV) files. That data must then be merged with the data in Ellucian Banner or in their Argos DataBlocks.
The process for pulling in the needed data, merging it with the additional data, ensuring the formatting is consistent, and then producing the final reports took a lot of time. It was a manual process that required a lot of work in Excel and Microsoft Access, and it wasn’t very secure. Barstow needed a better, faster way to collect and connect the data.
Barstow Community College was already an Evisions client, using Argos to meet their enterprise reporting needs. BCC’s IT department knew that the OIR (as well as the Admissions and Records Department) was struggling to connect data from various sources. Already having a great track record with Evisions’ products, when the IT department learned about Evisions CADMUS they confidently brought it to the attention of the OIR as a faster, more user-friendly and efficient option.
IT and the OIR met with Evisions for a demo of this SaaS-based data access solution powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). Afterwards, Barstow worked with Evisions to create a test site for Evisions CADMUS. This enabled the OIR to start creating Banner and Argos sources, import CSV collections, and then attempt to connect them all. Also, as an early adopter of Evisions CADMUS, Barstow provided ideas and insight to help guide the product’s development – a collaborative process that continues today.
Once the initial testing was done and BCC was ready to move forward, they set their sights on what they needed to do first. The OIR wanted to submit 10 academic years of data to the NSCH for the purpose of examining where their students go after they graduate or transfer from the college. They needed to connect that massive Excel file returned by NSCH to data in Banner and to DataBlocks in Argos.
With Evisions CADMUS they made it happen!
Evisions CADMUS gives Barstow’s Office of Institutional Research a more effective and more efficient way to collect and connect data. How much more efficient? A process that used to take 4-5 hours to do manually can now be done in about an hour. That’s a 75-80% reduction in time spent!
It not only does the job more quickly, but also more reliably and securely. The OIR is getting reports to their data consumers faster while reducing the number of support tickets they need to submit to IT.
The OIR plans to build on this and use Evisions CADMUS to enhance their understanding of opportunities for equity and diversity at BCC. When various departments submit lists of students to the OIR for outreach or for success data, they can more easily attach additional data such as gender, age, ethnicity, and special population status to those lists. This will allow them to examine, strategize, and provide outreach and support to diverse student populations, increasing equity in student success at Barstow Community College.
Additionally, while the primary users of Evisions CADMUS currently all reside within the Office of Institutional Research, their ultimate goal is to allow other end users – those that need a simple, user-friendly application – to use Evisions CADMUS to build simple reports without having to know SQL.