Before implementing Informer, Passaic County Community College was experiencing daily challenges trying to manage their data. Accessing important information on their Colleague® by Ellucian database using the native Query Builder tool was difficult, time consuming, and inefficient, leaving end users frustrated and IT staff overwhelmed. “The main challenge was the urgency of the user needs and unclear requirements,” said Hanumant Borate, Database Administrator at Passaic County Community College. “A lot of time had to be spent on developing and modifying user reports and queries.”
Self-service reporting with Query Builder was impossible for non-technical users and IT staff who could use the tool found it inefficient and extremely limited. Users could only examine small amounts of data at one time, queries were difficult to customize and report outputs were challenging to modify. Along with spending a large amount of time fulfilling user requests for reports, IT staff also experienced challenges with data integrity and security, never knowing if data was accurate or secure in their database.
Staff at Passaic knew they needed a better solution for handling their reporting needs. Users needed a reporting tool that was truly end-user friendly, relieving IT from time-consuming report requests. IT staff needed a better way to manage and audit their databases to ensure data was accurate and secure. After reviewing several tools and unsuccessfully implementing another solution, Passaic selected Entrinsik Informer due to various recommendations from other colleges.
Within days, Passaic was already seeing results with Informer. “Setup and implementation of Informer reporting tools is very fast, and within a few hours we were live,” said Borate. “Entrinsik support provided very good initial help to setup, create our production data sources, map files and fields, and with initial security setup. We were able to create reports in the first week.”
With Informer’s intuitive interface, adoption across campus spread quickly with end-users in various departments finally able to access data previously unavailable to them. Users especially loved the ability to connect to multiple data sources simultaneously, one-click mapping of files and fields from their Colleague database, auto scheduling of reports, email functionality, report sharing capabilities, and security settings at every level.
After implementing Informer, users At Passaic now find it easier and much less time consuming to access the information they need, all without IT intervention. Informer allows staff to view and analyze greater amounts of information from multiple sources, enabling more ad-hoc, multidimensional analysis of data and creating a data-driven decision making environment.
For example, Informer helped to improve management of the course schedule allowing Passaic to offer 6% less courses than the previous year. This streamlined the schedule and provided savings to the college while still maintaining the appropriate number of courses to meet students’ needs.
Users can now create multiple reports and dashboards based on the modules/functions in Colleague including Admission, Registration, Finance, and HR. With around 100 active users, Passaic has created hundreds of reports for every department, including:
- Dashboard of Key Performance Indicators, helping assess how well the college is achieving its mission and goals.
- Admission and Enrollment reports/dashboards keep enrollment up to date on targets, goals, and opportunities.
- Registrar reports for data integrity and analysis.
- Advising Department reports to identify students at risk and shorten the turn-around time to contact them.
- Data-driven tracking of progress reports.
- Academic Affairs – Course and Enrollment Tally reports.
- IR Office – Sure Data snapshots and reports for the state and federal Government.
- GL File suites, Enrollment Snapshots, Sure Data file suites and dashboards to compare data across multiple terms and years.
With their newfound reporting abilities, Passaic staff found more ways to accomplish their daily tasks and company goals than ever before. Informer allows both IT and non-technical users to create, customize, and share information within and across departments, leading to self-sufficiency, time and money savings college-wide.
What just a few Informer users at Passaic County CC had to say about Informer:
“I’ve created all kinds of reports pulling across various files for various departments. It helps me in my job since it makes it easier for other departments to understand what they need in terms of courses, schedules, terms, etc. that they may not have necessarily thought of before without the information I can quickly get to them.”
“While trying to implement the online approval of purchasing requisitions using Colleague, our staff were dependent on email or word-of-mouth to know when they needed to go into the system to approve something. Using the Informer report scheduling functionality, we were able to inform every user when they had something to approve on a daily basis. This communication advancement put the project over the top. One of the president’s goals was successfully achieved. Over a 16-month period, 3600 purchase requisitions have been entered and approved. That represents 3600 requisitions that did not have to be keyed in by the purchasing department staff. The distribution of labor was significant.”
“Many of our state and federal reports were migrated over to Informer and now multiple offices can audit and verify the data. It has improved the integrity of the data that we report externally and rely upon for internal decision making.”
“I have created 130 reports to date. I can get lists, or just numbers, schedule them to go to other people (big time saver), or give other people access so they can do things themselves (another big time saver).”