College Attains Reporting Objectives with Move to Argos
Emerson College had a reporting and business intelligence tool in place. It was powerful and had a large variety of features. Yet, as powerful as this tool was, they were finding it lacked more and more features and characteristics – and it was starting to negatively affect Emerson’s operations.
First, many end users did not feel the tool was intuitive. This hampered their willingness and/or ability to use it. This, in part, led to the second issue: its use was inconsistent across campus. Third, the reporting tool required too much of IT’s time and resources to maintain.
And while the tool was meeting some of Emerson’s reporting and analytics needs, there were still significant goals they needed to achieve in their reporting environment:
- Establish reporting standards and uniform processes to support institutional decision making.
- Create dashboards with easy-to-navigate metrics, to better analyze information.
- Connect to multiple systems, bringing structured and unstructured data into a centralized data source.
- Clearly present insights and trends in the data that could be used to support strategic decisions affecting the College’s growth.
Emerson was not confident they could achieve these goals with the reporting tool they had in place.
The IT staff at Emerson College were aware of Evisions Argos through recommendations from peers at other institutions, as well as from staff members who used it at previous stops. eBug, Emerson’s Enterprise Business User Group, acted as the product search committee. Argos was evaluated by eBug and chosen to be among the final four candidates. A recommendation was then made to the IT Governance Committee that Argos be the College’s reporting tool, for which it gained final approval.
Some of the key reasons why Emerson felt Argos was the right solution for them:
- It’s intuitive, with many features focused on the end user.
- Comes with over 200 pre-built Banner DataBlocks ranging from graduate and undergraduate courses, enrollment, financial aid, and student financial accounts to Degree Works, advancement, compliance reports, and more.
- Reputable customer support and a well-established Higher Ed-based customer community that includes a CO-OP containing reusable DataBlocks, dashboards and report templates for quick and easy report development.
- OLAP (Online Analytical Processing) cubes that provide statistical and analytical information for college executives and other users to assist in decision-making in a quick and intuitive manner.
- Provides process utilities that can directly update data in Banner or other source systems.
- Automated email communication that can be data-triggered for improved operational efficiency.
Since implementing Argos, Emerson College has been able to meet the reporting objectives they set out to achieve:
- A centralized data repository that enhances reporting data accessibility and consistency.
- Ability to perform comprehensive summary and detail-level data analysis. (Which has led to fewer data inaccuracies and a decrease in turnaround time for complex reports!)
- Dashboards that more clearly present advanced data visualization for comprehensive data sets in a single view.
- Autonomy for end users, as they are readily able to run their own reports without needing technical knowledge.
- A new reporting environment that enables Emerson’s various departments to run all their reports without report replication or creating departmental silos. (Over 80 users received report training in preparation for production rolling out!)
In addition, by deploying Argos campus wide, the College has been able to:
- Reduce redundancies by consolidating similar reports.
- Clean up and verify the accuracy of their data.
- Establish a library to standardize parameters and values, as well as colors and themes.
- Convert previously manual processes to Argos reports with diversified parameters and scheduling.
- Simplify the report user security management process.