Insights from Ellucian LIVE 2013

Posted on April 18th 2013

Ellucian LIVE 2013 was a huge success! With over 8,500 attendees, the conference brought together Higher Education professionals from all across the country with companies like Entrinsik who offer valuable, innovative technological solutions from Business Intelligence to Financial Services.

While attendees were browsing the exhibit booths, attending the educational sessions, and watching sponsored demonstrations to learn how to leverage technology to cut costs, drive revenue and improve efficiencies, our employees at the Entrinsik booth were learning too. We’d like to share a few of our insights:

What to do with all that data?

A surprising fact we realized while talking to schools at Ellucian LIVE was that many of them are still dependent on IT to write native queries and send results to end users – no self-service, no ad-hoc reports, no real-time data analysis (ouch). As you’d expect, these schools were frustrated with the inability to access important data when they needed it, and were searching for the right tool to help.

SQL this, SQL that

SQL (Structured Query Language) is already the norm in most industries, and the Higher Ed. Field is catching up. Many schools that we talked to are still using MultiValue databases, including more than a few Informer customers, but with Ellucian now working on a complete transfer to SQL, times are changing.

Many schools are in the process of switching from UniData to SQL, but the process can be complicated and time-consuming for IT developers. Informer customers are having great success utilizing the unique U2-to-SQL conversion tool that Entrinsik developers created to streamline the process of migrating their existing UniData-based reports to run on the new SQL platform.

 IT Speaks Up

In today’s BI market, software tools are all about the end-user. BI solution providers consistently boast about ease-of-use and intuitiveness for the non-IT business user, but many forget that IT staff are still the first-in-combat during implementation and maintenance. We heard IT staff express one major concern again and again: security.

While there’s no denying the benefits of self-service software and the ability for end-users to create their own ad-hoc reports, hiccups can happen when these users try to run reports that are unnecessary and complex, or manipulate data in irreversible ways. IT people want security – a way to control who has access to what data and what reports can be run.

Speaking of End-users…

The most common issue that we heard from conference attendees using other reporting solutions was the non-user friendliness of many software interfaces. Many reporting tools look simple and promise ease-of-use, but there is a huge difference between watching an expert demonstrate software they know well (and making it look easy) and end-users trying to use it correctly themselves after implementation. What can result is the ultimate buyer’s remorse; a “now how did that guy do this again?” situation. Many staff members we spoke to were looking to replace their current reporting solution for this very reason.

Entrinsik Sales Exec Pam demonstrating Informer at Ellucian LIVE

It Costs How Much??

An obstacle for many schools (and businesses, for that matter) when searching for BI solutions is the expense. Enterprise solutions can be in the high six-figure range (ouch), and even solutions made for smaller institutions can rack up costs with “optional” add-ons, maintenance fees and per-user and per-year licensing. All this can add up fast – leaving some schools with a large yearly bill and others with a “we’ll have to make do without” attitude.

The Aftermath – How does all of this affect Entrinsik?

We learned a lot during our time at Ellucian LIVE; conferences like this not only help us get the word out about Entrinsik Informer, but it helps us to hear what schools around the country are saying – what their needs are, which ones are being met and which ones aren’t. We continue to tailor our product around these institutions to deliver the most complete, beneficial reporting solution on the market.

Informer addresses each of the issues listed above, and we continue to add additional features and functionality based on the specific needs of our clients.

  • Self-service, ad-hoc reporting with interactive dashboards
  • Compatible with SQL and U2/MultiValue databases with a unique conversion tool
  • Complete customizable security options
  • Truly easy to use with an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface
  • Affordable pricing based on FTE – no per-user licensing or hidden fees

Higher Education institutions are learning to utilize modern technology to become more efficient, more knowledgeable, and more business-savvy. Entrinsik is proud to be serving over 300 Ellucian Colleges and Universities by providing the tools necessary to manage their business needs quickly and efficiently, so they can focus on the real goal – education!

Register for a LIVE upcoming webinar presented by Informer customer Wake Technical Community College and Tim Nicholson, Director of Informer Customer Services at Entrinsik. Watch as they show how Informer is used to analyze and report on revenue and expense information from different departments and systems, perform real-time analysis to find and retain the most profitable students and courses, and measure the effectiveness of institutional research against results.

Register buttom

During the conference, we also held a drawing for those attendees who stopped by our booth – and we’re happy to announce the winner!

Congratulations to Jeffrey Brotherton from Columbus College of Art & Design for being the winner of a new Apple iPad mini! We would like to thank Jeffrey for visiting with us at the show, and we hope you enjoy your prize!

We want to talk to you! Call 888-703-0016 (toll-free) or email sales@entrinsik.com for more information on Informer or to sign up for your free 30-day trial.

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