Information Technology

July 2009


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Division of Information Technology
P.O. Box 6888
Radford, VA 24142
Phone: 540-831-5173
Fax: (540) 831-6217

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Division of Information Technology (DoIT)
Radford University

DoIT Introduces Data Warehouse and Reporting Team

Enterprise Systems has formed a new team, Data Warehouse and Reporting (DWR), that will focus on fulfilling the general operational reporting needs of campus users and departments using the Banner ERP system and the related Operational Data Store (ODS). The ODS is an integral component of the new ERP system being implemented that provides a current, simplified snapshot of the Banner transactional database.

The DWR team is managed by Debbie Johnson, who joins RU from Shelton, WA, to continue her distinguished career in higher education, and Naomi Sparks, reporting specialist, who joins DoIT from Memphis, TN. The DWR software engineer is Colin Cospel, B.S. Computer Science, RU '08. The DWR team is focused on training and implementation tasks related to ODS, gathering reporting requirements of key users and writing scripts and Cognos programs to meet the needs of the campus community. Cognos is a business intelligence reporting tool that provides the user interface that connects to the ODS and allows users to access the data in a friendly environment.

The DRW team is currently located on the second floor of McConnell and welcomes the opportunity to consult with those who need customized reporting solutions.

Enterprise Systems Implements Source Code Management System

DoIT's Enterprise Systems' team has installed, configured and implemented a new source control and versioning system that will streamline the software development life cycle for DoIT developers during the implementation of Banner and its related components. The system, called CA Change Manager, is a product of Computer Associates and was purchased by DoIT in April. An aggressive implementation plan has been executed and CA Change Manager is operational.

CA Change Manager provides functionality that helps groups within Enterprise Systems keep in compliance with VITA and APA requirements for source code management, versioning and standards. The system also streamlines the development process by providing additional workflow and approval functionalities. The use of CA Change Manager allows DoIT to seamlessly migrate to new versions of Banner and its components and minimizes the troubleshooting and research time needed to respond to software issues.

The system will be used initially by the Systems Integrations and Web Services groups as a pilot and training will enable DoIT to integrate source code from the Systems Programming and Data Warehouse & Reporting groups by the end of July. DoIT's goal is to have all custom source code managed by the system before September. The project team spearheading this important initiative is Aaron Weeks, Debbie Johnson and Gregg Shadel.

Banner Finance and Advancement Modules
Celebrate One-Year Anniversary

July 2009 marks the one-year anniversary of the operation of Banner Finance and Advancement modules by the project teams responsible for implementation. With the completion of the July 2008-09 fiscal year and attendant close-out activities at the end of June, the Finance system completed its first year of operation successfully.

The next major milestone for the Banner project will be implementation of the Admissions module. Staff from both the undergraduate and graduate admissions offices are now testing the modules in preparation for an August "go-live." Both offices held a mock "go-live" week in June to simulate their new environment and another "go-live" week is scheduled for mid-July. The test runs were reported to be very successful and helped pinpoint what is working well and what adjustments need to be made.

Banner is a multi-year project designed to review, replace and enhance the university's administrative information systems, including undergraduate and graduate admissions, financial aid, registration and records, student housing, advancement and fundraising, financials, budget, human resources and the portal. Together, the administrative systems provide the university community of faculty, staff, students, prospective students, alumni with critical business processing, data retrieval, reporting and self-service functions.

DoIT Employee Profile

Jackie McNabbJackie McNabb, Director, Enterprise Systems

How long have you been employed in the Division of Information Technology at Radford University?
I have been here for four awesome months!

A family of three computer geeks and one rebel, including my husband, Chris, and two sons: Stephen, 24 and Ian, 11.

Gary, Indiana. I have moved 18 times since I was married 27 years ago.

Camping, scrapbooking, reading, iPod, and annoying my family.

Favorite Vacation Destination:
The beach, preferably Topsail Island, NC.

Favorite part of your job:
I get the most satisfaction when I see one of our applications used to make someone's job easier or to enhance a student's campus experience and education. I know it sounds corny but I have been in this business for 20 years and those "ah-ha moments" are what keep me going.