Archive for ‘Business Intelligence’

August 2017

0 Commentsby   |  09.04.17  |  Banner, Business Intelligence, Security

August 2017 by the Numbers

  • 247 end-user support requests resolved (new record for month of August and most for single month)
  • 104 development and administration issues resolved (new record for month of August)
  • 13 projects-in-progress
  • project completed
  • 9 projects requested
  • 99.91% average uptime

Reach Out

Please remember to reach out to the Helpdesk with all of your technical inquiries and problems. The Helpdesk can be contacted by phone at 674-HELP (x4357), or at We have added a call-back feature, so you do not have to wait in the phone queue. For technology problems that are disruptive during a class, please call 674-NEED (x6333) for immediate help.

Computer Security Change

At the recommendation of the Board of Trustees, IT worked with a security company to conduct a security and risk assessment. One of the resulting recommendations was that we implement a setting to lock computers after 30 minutes of inactivity to increase safeguards around unattended workstations. This change is implemented for faculty and staff PCs and is in the process of being rolled out for Macs.

Did You Know?

We use tools to monitor availability and performance of critical applications, such as single sign-on and myACU.  Our system status report is available under the Technology tab in myACU or can be accessed directly.

Discoverer Transition

The Business Intelligence office has converted 116 reports, but many still need to be reviewed for accuracy and approved by users.  This Discoverer Transition post outlines the expectations and responsibilities for Discoverer users.  Please contact Will Wyatt,, if you have any questions.

Optimizing and Enhancing Operations

We help the university to optimize and enhance operations by adopting new applications, automating manual work, and creating integration between Banner and third-party applications.  This fall we will complete multiple projects in this realm, including automation of manual processes to change records for students who cancel enrollment and enhanced data integration between Salesforce and Banner.

Avoiding Ransomware Attacks

Phishing attacks — which often contain ransomware — pose a major risk to everyone, leaving people vulnerable to information and privacy losses, identity theft, and extortion.  Learn more about the warning signs of phishing and ransomware, the potential risks of falling prey to an attack, and how you can protect yourself.

Banner 9 Project Updates

Here are the highlights of a busy month of August as well as upcoming work:

  • In preparation for the start of the Fall 2017 term, we installed updates to Accounts Receivable, General and Student.
  • We trained over 100 users in the basics of Banner 9 and have two more sessions scheduled in September.
  • The first Financial Aid 9 update is ready for testing with a go-live to-be-determined.
  • We are preparing updates to existing Banner 9 components during September and October.
  • We are ramping up work to migrate Banner forms customizations to Banner 9.  We will reduce our custom form count by almost 75%.

July 2017

0 Commentsby   |  08.07.17  |  Banner, Business Intelligence, Security, Uncategorized

Did You Know?

We increased third-party application integrations by 34% over the last four years, which represents the largest growth in our service portfolio.  This increase follows a national trend where institutions are frequently adopting cloud-based solutions that integrate with core services like Banner and single sign-on.  Some of our most recent integrations include Barnes & Noble for ID card usage in the bookstore, TeamDynamix for IT support ticket management, and What’s Happening on the Hill for Student Life activities.  We have five new integrations scheduled for completion over the next six months.

Discoverer Transition

The Business Intelligence office is on track to transition Discoverer reports to Cognos by December 31, 2017. Discoverer users have been contacted about transition plans. Please visit the Analytics blog for more information about the transition.

Are You Considering A New Software Implementation?

Please include us, even if the IT impact seems minimal so that we can ask questions, provide feedback, and plan ahead before committing.  We compiled some questions on our New Software Inquiry page to help guide those who are exploring a new software or service. You can share this page with a potential vendor so that they can answer the questions directly.

Are You Practicing Safe Social Networking?

Millions of Internet users engage in social networking, and many of them assume they are in a safe, controlled environment. However, social networking presents unique security challenges and risks.  Here are some tips to use social media safely and own your online presence.

Banner 9 Project Update

We are making more progress towards completion of the Administrative Banner updates we have planned for the rest of the year:

  • We will install updates to many existing Banner 9 components over the next two weeks, which will resolve numerous issues and prepare us for the start of the Fall 2017 term.
  • We are providing user training sessions to better prepare folks for Banner 9, with seven sessions scheduled over the next two and a half weeks.
  • The first Accounts Receivable 9 update is tentatively scheduled to go live this month.
  • The first Financial Aid 9 update is ready for testing with a go-live to-be-determined.

July 2017 by the Numbers

  • 164 end-user support requests resolved (new record for month of July)
  • 65 development and administration issues resolved (new record for month of July)
  • 11 projects-in-progress
  • project completed
  • 5 projects requested
  • 99.99% average uptime

Tableau Projects

0 Commentsby   |  11.16.11  |  Business Intelligence

One of the nice surprises we’ve seen as a result of using Tableau as one of the reporting engines for ACU is how quickly and easily it has been to create and publish reports. That may also be the bane of a Tableau experience. As the number of Tableau reports has grown, so has the challenge of searching and find the one report you need at just the right time.

This situation is more pronounced for ACU because we 1. required users to publish to a staging area and then had to deploy each report to a final destination, and 2. allowed all Tableau interactors (as they are called in the software) to see all reports. The later of these we will address at a later date. For now, we’ve taken some effort to alter the first situation.

Starting today, any publisher of a Tableau report will be able to publish their content to the final project destination. Our belief is that doing so will allow content creators to share their reports more quickly. Its another one of those, “Let’s not get in the way of our customers” kinds of situations for me. I want each publisher to be the master of their destiny (or “density” if you like the movie “Back To The Future”). That gives them more flexibility and also allows them to more quickly and easily publish reports for their own audiences.

To pull this off, we simply had to create several new Tableau projects with specific naming conventions that should make sense to our customers. For example, we used to have one project called “500: Information and Planning“. Now we broken that down into several projects with names such as “520: Planning: Budgeting” and “530: Planning: Enrollment“. The one hope I had for this new structure was to be able to nest projects inside of projects. I was hoping for a high order project called “500: Information and Planning” as it was before and then have nested projects under that such as “Budgeting“, “Enrollment” and the like. In Tableau 6.1, that doesn’t seem possible. I hope that Tableau will offer this solution in future releases of the software because it would be a nice feature.

Next steps are to determine if we need to rethink what everyone can see or leave it wide open as it is today. I’ll need to get help from some smart people on that one.


Developer Stats – Well Almost

0 Commentsby   |  09.05.11  |  Business Intelligence, General, Sprint

Nothing like a graph to point out how bad your data really is. Well, the truth is, the stats I’m collecting from Jira, our development tracking engine isn’t horrible but there are some anomalies in the data that I have to clear up. Be that as it may, I’m sharing this link with the two of you that ever read this blog. If you can sign into our Tableau server, you will be able to see the dashboard. If you can’t, hang in there. I’m working on a more public presentation that people outside our licensing restrictions can see as well.