Atlantic Cape Community College Achieves Widespread User Adoption and True Self-Service Reporting and Data Analysis with Entrinsik Informer
Before implementing Entrinsik Informer, staff members at Atlantic Cape Community College (ACCC) were limited by the lack of reporting capabilities offered with their Colleague® by Ellucian system during their migration from a legacy system in 2009. Using a Multivalue database, Rocket UniData, ACCC needed a solution that met their reporting and data analysis requirements that was designed to work with Multivalue databases. IT staff were using Query Builder on a limited basis in order to create and run a small number of reports essential to the College and their implementation consultants, leaving end-users unable to create and run reports themselves thus requiring IT assistance whenever a specific report needed to be run.
Douglas Hedges, Dean of Information Technology Services (ITS) at ACCC, realized that the College needed a reporting solution that was more flexible, functional, and easy to use with their relational and Multivalue databases. " Colleague by Ellucian as delivered offered little in the way of existing reports that met our needs," said Hedges. "We knew early on that we needed to look for an alternative solution."
ACCC needed a reporting solution that would allow end-users to access, create, customize and run reports without assistance from IT. Users needed a true self-service solution that would give them access to the real-time data they needed, with full reporting capabilities and a user-friendly interface.
ACCC began searching for an out-of-the-box reporting solution that would be easy to setup, configure and maintain, as well as provide the necessary ad-hoc data analysis capabilities for users to easily report on data that was relevant to them. The College selected Entrinsik Informer and was able to quickly and easily implement and rollout the software during the migration to Colleague .
"[Informer] was the only reporting system we found that was specifically designed for MultiValue databases such as UniData as well as relational databases… It was an easy choice once we saw what Informer was capable of," said Hedges.
Informer is designed for ultimate ease-of-use, not only for reporting but also during the implementation process. Installation takes minutes and Informer's intuitive interface eliminates the need for lengthy training periods. "The process of installation and rollout was trivial," said Hedges. "We were able to install it on a Linux host in under an hour; the embedded Jetty database as well as a command-line interface (CLI) installation made it easy."
Staff found Informer immediately useful, not only to them but to their Ellucian consultants during conversion and implementation of their Colleague system. IT staff were able to start using Informer immediately, and pushed it out to end-users quickly, enabling multiple departments to begin accessing the data they needed within days of implementation.
Results and Benefits
Implementing Informer allowed staff at ACCC to see instant results. Even during the conversion of their legacy system to Colleague, Informer helped staff and consultants create and run reports directly from multiple data sources, giving them access to live data the moment they needed it. Informer's ability to connect to multiple data sources at once allowed the College to leverage one out-of-the-box solution for all of their reporting needs.
"Informer is currently our reporting solution of choice to the near exclusion of any other tools, thus helping us reduce licensing costs and user training issues," said Hedges. "Even as we consider developing alternate data stores for institutional research (IR) that are relational in structure, we see Informer as being the primary front-end for reporting as it can access data across both relational and MultiValue databases."
Informer's ease of use has allowed for widespread user adoption, and numerous end-user departments have started using Informer to create reports ranging from Blackboard reports (ACCC's learning management system) to more complicated reports for Finance departments. "Many users have become experts in their own areas in writing reports i.e. IR uses Informer to do the data extractions for their specialized projects and analyses," said Hedges.