University Achieves Institutional Performance Measurement with Argos Dashboards and Data Cubes

University of Arkansas at Little Rock



Undergraduate Programs

The Challenge

Like most institutions, University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) has a comprehensive strategic plan to measure and improve all aspects of institutional performance. This plan, named “Fast Forward”, touches all stakeholders at the University including students, staff, faculty and executives. Also like most institutions, UALR faced serious challenges measuring and disseminating all of the components and information that make up “Fast Forward.”

Before “Fast Forward” could become a reality, UALR needed to identify how to measure the performance of the plan’s goals and what systems housed this data in order to report off of it. These metrics are called Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and can be difficult to clearly identify and measure. UALR also needed to define a dictionary of metrics in order for users to understand their definitions and context.

Once the design of the metrics and KPI’s was completed, UALR was left with one major hurdle to the success of “Fast Forward”. How would they provide real-time access to the KPI’s and the data behind them in an easy to understand format that would empower users to actionable data in order to address and enhance institutional performance?

The Solution

Already a satisfied Argos user, UALR investigated and chose the Advanced Features set of Argos to accomplish their goals. Argos Advanced Features, which include: Dashboards, Data Cubes (OLAP), Scheduling & Delivery and Application Integration (API), provided the perfect platform for making “Fast Forward” accessible to all users.

Argos Dashboards offer easy to understand graphs, charts, and gauges that allow users to quickly discern the UALR’s performance as it relates to their area. Argos also provides interactive and drillable views of information empowering users with very flexible capabilities to view the information that is most important to them. Argos Dashboards facilitated the “Fast Forward” movement with real-time decision making and true insight into UALR performance.

With Argos, users now have access to enrollment trend information; number of graduates year over year by major or degree; financial aid disbursement information; and how awards are distributed by type, student, ethnicity and age. The general availability of this type of information allows UALR to determine student success rates, enrollment information, graduation rates, scholarship awards, grant awards and funding information promoting quick decision making.

In addition, Argos OLAP Data Cubes (think Pivot tables on steroids) provided multi-dimensional views of the University’s data, fast ad-hoc analysis, on the fly charting, and slicing/dicing of complex data all based upon user specifications.

UALR uses OLAP Data Cubes to determine the number of graduates and students enrolled for the term by major. This information allowed UALR to know enrollment and retention rates. The OLAP cubes also provide detailed information on the number of grants based upon academic program and recruiting rates.

With the use of the Evisions CO-OP User Community, an on-line library of pre-built dashboards and OLAP cubes, UALR was able to get up and running quickly, strengthening the “Fast Forward” plan. Users and executives can now quickly answer their own questions with Argos as it allows easy access into UALR data.

We knew that we needed performance metrics but determining these metrics was difficult. It took a team effort to accomplish this determination.
Jeannie Winston

Vice Chancellor for Information Services, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The Argos OLAP Data Cubes gave us a multi dimensional view of the University’s data including enrollment and grant information. With Argos it was easy to chart or slice and dice this information.
Megan Weatherford

Business Analyst, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

We found that the Argos Dashboards are easy to develop and was easy to use to get quick answers to questions.
Nathan Nolan

Associate Director of Project Management & Development, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

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