When your internal faculty activity reporting system no longer meets your university’s needs, it’s a great time to take stock so you can get the maximum benefit from the solution you implement to replace it. Here are five best practices for preparing your transition from an internal faculty activity reporting system.
1. Review Your Reports
Step back and take a look at the reports generated in your existing system. Is the format pleasing as well a logical? Do they contain all of the information required, in the correct format, by the stakeholders who receive them? Consider how you’re delivering information and how you can improve upon that as you adopt your new system.
This is a good time to consult stakeholders within the university, from administration to faculty, so you can make your reporting as useful as possible—and therefore more likely used. For example, if faculty has a say in the format used to produce CVs from your faculty activity database, they’ll be more likely to enter the data needed to take advantage of that capability.
2. Dissect Your Data
- Do we need this data now? It’s difficult to let go of data—you have it, shouldn’t you keep it? If you don’t have a use for it, you may wish to keep the data, but don’t put it in your new solution. Only migrate data that you know is useful to address current reporting needs.
- Is this data useful in its current format? Legacy faculty activity systems may have a single free text field for publications. However, that may not serve your current reporting needs. Evaluate the format the data should take, and do the work necessary to migrate or re-input that data in a format that allows you to access the exact data you need. Let your report assemble data elements into useful information rather than storing it in a manner that doesn’t allow you to use each discrete element.
3. Consider Security and Access
Roles within a university change over time; so does the team needed to maintain and operate the system. As you consider the ways you plan to use faculty activity information to evaluate faculty, measure the university’s impacts, report to accrediting bodies and governmental stakeholders—to name a few—take time to consider the scope of access for all users.
Determine who currently has access, their level of access to data and reporting and whether those roles should carry forward into your new faculty activity database. Should faculty be limited to viewing and editing their own data? Who besides the provost’s office might need access to university-wide reporting capabilities? What access to data is appropriate to the IT team?
4. Set Clear System Distinctions
If you don’t plan on sunsetting your previous solution, carefully plan and communicate the distinctions between the old and new systems and what information belongs where. This is important at all levels, from your technical team to faculty to administrators, who need clear information on how to navigate the solutions in place.
5. Archive Everything
If you’re sunsetting your legacy reporting solution, archive all data, including data you’ve migrated and data that you didn’t have a use for at this time. Use standard disaster recovery protocols to store your archive to ensure it remains accessible long into the future, should a need for it ever arise.
For a more in-depth look making a successful transition from your legacy system, download our ebook, “A Guide to Retiring Your Internal Faculty Activity Reporting System.”
To discuss transitioning from an internal faculty activity reporting system, reach out to us today!