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News and Information
Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Division of Information Technology
910.521.6260 |

WebFOCUS Reporting Application Chosen for UNCP

In October, UNCP chose WebFOCUS as its new enterprise business intelligence system.  WebFOCUS is a powerful web-based application that provides access to information from almost any data source.  This information can be presented in a variety of forms and formats.  WebFOCUS overcomes the limitations of previous products since it can access transitional databases without extensive data modeling.

The WebFOCUS project will follow a phased approach.  The first phase consists of the installation of WebFOCUS and the implementation of a collection of reporting templates called DARTBOARD.  WebFOCUS was installed during the week of December 6th, and the implementation of DARTBOARD began during the week of December 13th. 

The DARTBOARD templates are basically tiny reporting applications focused on a very specific area. An example template is Class Rolls.  While that may sound like a fairly simple report, this template actually offers dozens of initial options.  A user may initially select between eight different group and sort options, six different sort columns, six different output options, eight different selection parameters, and a few more options.  Once these selections are made and the initial processing is complete, a user may then drill down to see additional data, create a report or a list from the template, or produce actual class rolls.  These options then expand into a third level of options, and so on. 

What all this means is that a user can use a template to find the specific data they need and control the format, selection, order, etc., without any knowledge of FOCUS or even any detailed knowledge of the database tables.  This is a very powerful concept, and it will allow UNCP to achieve some dramatic improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of reporting.  In the past, when small changes in a report were required, the report had to be modified by a report developer.   This often led to multiple copies of a report, with minor differences between each.  In turn, this led to confusion over which version of a report was the one a user needed.  Now a user will be able to make these changes without any assistance, and without creating a new report.

During December and early January, UNCP will be configuring these templates, setting up access controls, and piloting the initial templates.  As we move into late January, DoIT will be working on additional templates and assisting functional offices with issues as we rollout templates to additional users.

By Tom Jackson, Associate CIO


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