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December 2010

New HR/Finance Discoverer FAQs

Discoverer (for HR/Finance and SIS) classes revised
Want to know more about Discoverer?  University Human Resource’s Office of Employee Development has two classes offered at no charge to you or your department’s PTAO:

  • Introduction to Discoverer is an online course available whenever you want to take it from your own computer.  The course demonstrates the software used to run reports from the Integrated System (IS) for the Financial and Human Resource applications and the Student Information System (SIS). Please note: additional Discoverer training is required for specific SIS roles.
  • Discoverer: Customizing & Analyzing Data in Your Reports is a recently revised  8-hour classroom training program that covers basic query design, how to determine which folders to use, how to build effective conditions, and various other Discoverer tools to enable you to create or modify reports that meet your business needs.   Prerequisite: Trainees must have the active responsibility UVA ODS Specialist or a SIS Reporting Role and at least 3 months practice using Discoverer Plus.

HR/Finance Users: In case you didn’t know…

  • Leave balances are available online
    In July, we provided functionality to give employees (and their supervisors) online access to the following:
    • Leave balances as of the last processed payroll, plus
    • Carry-over balances and their end date
    • Use or lose balances and their end date

    These leave balances, and leave earned, now appear in a new "employee leave information" drop-down above the area for time entry. Leave balances as of the last completed payroll are in the "hours type" drop-down on the timecard itself.

  • Steps have been clarified for changing or canceling a purchase order
    The How DO I manual entitled “Purchase Orders – Changing”  was updated to include more detailed instructions on making changes to existing purchase orders.  The document provides an overview of who can make PO changes, when PO changes cannot be made, as well as comprehensive instructions for:
    • How to un-reserve a purchase order
    • Increasing the quantity on a purchase order line
    • Decreasing the quantity on a purchase order line
    • Changing the price on a purchase order line
    • Adding a new line to an existing purchase order
    • Canceling a purchase order line

    There are many other helpful up-to-date Purchasing How Do I manuals to guide you through other purchasing activities that you may do infrequently.

  • Enhancements have been made to UVA Marketplace
    Enhancements were made to the UVA Marketplace search functionality.  Updated instructions are available on the Procurement Website.

SIS Surveys help ISDS set priorities for new system
With SIS fully deployed for a year, ISDS is conducting surveys of the three groups of SIS users – staff, faculty, and students – to set a baseline on how well SIS is meeting their needs. As we have done since 2004 with HR/Finance, we will use survey results to help guide ISDS efforts to improve the Integrated System applications.

The administrative user survey was conducted in June 2010. The results are posted on the Integrated System website. The SIS team has already used the results of the survey and comments provided by respondents to prioritize enhancements to the system. Responses to comments are available on the website.

The faculty survey had  a 20% response rate, with many faculty submitting comments on areas where they see a need for improvements to SIS. The team will review all of these comments and responses, in addition to those from a student survey, to be conducted in December, and work with the SIS Advisory Board to evaluate and prioritize future enhancements. Two areas known to be of concern to both faculty and students – namely, the class search and ad hoc permissions – are already under review.

The student survey will be conducted this month by the office of Institutional Studies and Assessment.

New on SIS Website
SIS administrative users can now view online key dates for activities associated with admission, enrollment, and student finance. This includes when enrollment opens and advising sessions begin, when holds are applied and when communication is sent to students regarding those holds, when grades are due and degrees are conferred, and more. The calendar is updated regularly to reflect upcoming terms and helps SIS users respond to questions from students and faculty.

Online Effort Certification Rollout a Success
Effective October 26, effort reports, a form on which faculty document the percent of their time spent on sponsored and non-sponsored University activities, are completed online. This includes School of Medicine clinical and non-clinical faculty, as well as non-School of Medicine faculty populations. This electronic solution is the result of years of consideration and evaluation by ISDS and the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) on how best to transition from paper to an electronic format.

“The rollout went very smoothly,” says Sharon Brooks, OSP director of compliance and outreach. In preparation for electronic certification, OSP held numerous outreach events for administrators and faculty to increase awareness and understanding of this federal requirement and U.Va. process. Brooks adds, “We feel that the outreach was effective in that 25 percent of the reports were certified within the first 15 days of the certification window.”

The next phase of the project will bring effort reports for students and staff online, according to Barbara Henry, the ISDS project manager. “This is a bit more complex because of routing the effort reports to each PI for approval rather than to the individual employee.” The anticipated date for the second phase rollout is August 31, 2011.

Having this process completed electronically is a considerable advantage to the University, says Brooks. “It allows research administrators who used to chase paper to spend their time in more value added activities such guiding faculty in the process and in our general support of the research enterprise.”

SIS Upgrades Go Smoothly
The SIS team completed an upgrade to the SIS infrastructure and to ImageNow on November 20. The SIS upgrade allows the University to continue to receive Oracle support and system upgrades. The ImageNow upgrade offers more features and also keeps ImageNow current on system upgrades.   

HR/Finance Upgrade Update
ISDS is on schedule for the R12 Integrated System (HR/Finance) upgrade, having successfully completed the second trial upgrade. You can follow the progress of the implementation on the upgrade website.