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Spring 2007

We're Listening! - User Survey Responses Help Drive ISDS Priorities

While ISDS gets feedback from system users throughout the year, the annual Integrated System User Survey is the best window into helping us understand how the system is working for users and to set priorities for enhancements. Each year, many improvements to the system can be traced back to responses to previous years’ surveys. This year is no different. Here are a few examples from the 2006 IS User Survey:

  1. What you said: I would like to see a faster way to run the Cash Balance reports.  I have to request over forty reports each month.  Having to request each one individually is time consuming. Maybe this is a candidate for a Discoverer report?

What we did: A Discoverer version of the Cash Balance by Org report was created to reduce the amount of time it took to run the report in Production. In addition, users are now able to view all revenue projects for their org in one session.

  1. What you said: A big concern with the Integrated System is not having accurate salary encumbrances.  With out accurate encumbrances, we are forced to continually maintain excel spreadsheets for scheduled salary expense.

What we did: ISDS worked closely with Oracle, who (finally!) corrected the labor encumbrance issue for faculty working less than 12 months. In addition, GTAs’ and GRAs’ labor is now encumbered, and Sponsored Programs labor encumbrances match the funding period.

  1. What you said: We still do not have a report that tells the non-accountant faculty member "how much do I have left to spend," which is their main question.  We still have to generate several shadow reports to come up with a monthly report that makes sense to them. 

What we did: Once the labor encumbrance issue was resolved, we were able to create a principle investigator report that tells them how much they have left to spend. Released in March 2007, this report was made possible through extensive work with Oracle and by the PI Reporting usability group.

  1. What you said: There is a need for a reconciliation Discoverer report for biweekly payroll which gives total hours worked and pay rate with hours paid.

What we did: Developed by a special Payroll Reconciliation Usability Taskforce, a new Payroll Reconciliation report provides complete details of how gross pay was calculated at the assignment level and how it was charged to PTAEOs. The report has flexible selection criteria and is sorted by assignment organization and supervisor.

In addition, Discoverer and other Hints and Tips were published in the IS Exchange and posted to the IS website to respond to other questions and comments received via the survey.

“It’s really important for us to get user feedback,” says Virginia Evans, Assistant Vice President for ISDS. “We can listen if users talk to us. We hope everyone responds to the current 2007 IS User Survey by the close date of April 26. As added incentive, respondents can enter a drawing for a $50 gift card. Whether or not you win the drawing, you win by helping us improve the system for you.”