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Fall 2004

Finding the Best in Class

There is no U.S. News and World Report ranking of departments that support administrative information systems. In fact, it is very difficult to find any published metrics, much less metrics that would be of value to Integrated System users.

“While rankings may not always work when universities have different systems and different organizational structures, sometimes we can still compare, and if nothing else, we certainly can learn from each other,” says Virginia Evans, Assistant Vice President for ISDS. “So we decided to take the lead in gathering metrics from peer institutions that have implemented Oracle ERP systems.”

What ISDS found when contacting other universities is that all of them are now or soon will be asked to quantify their operations and show efficiencies and good customer service. As a result, they enthusiastically responded to participating in the metrics project.

“We have identified a group of ten universities, and all are grateful for the opportunity to have a mechanism for sharing and comparing information,” says Evans. “While the data this first year is inconsistent because most isn’t collected systematically, we expect it to be more useful next year when we all implement methods to collect comparable data.

“The best news so far for us is that, in most of the categories we are able to measure, U.Va. is doing very well in comparison to other institutions. Where there are ‘best practices’, in most cases, we are already doing them. And where we might do something more effectively, we are making adjustments.”

The universities participating in the metrics project include:
• Yale University
• California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
• University of Virginia
• West Virginia University
• Carnegie-Mellon University
• Stanford University
• Tulane University
• Oregon Health & Science University
• Research Foundation-SUNY
• SUNY-Binghamton

The areas in which data is being gathered include:
• Data integrity
• Ability and effectiveness in solving issues
• System accessibility
• System availability