Texas State University McCoy College of Business Administration used Activity Insight for 6 years before signing on for a campus-wide implementation in March 2016 with the immovable go live date of September 1, 2016. Whitten Smart, the school’s Supervisor of Learning Applications Solutions, shared the early steps of the university’s journey at our 2016 User Group. Here, Smart shares his thoughts on Texas State’s ongoing implementation and the recipe for success when implementing a faculty activity reporting solution.
Texas State University opened its doors in 1903 as the Southwest Texas State Normal School, with 303 students and a mission to prepare Texas public school teachers. The school’s name has changed multiple times in response to its expanding scope, with its current name reflecting its status as a major, multipurpose university. With more than 200 degree programs at all levels and a full-time faculty of more than 1,300, Texas State University serves 39,000 students across two campuses.
Digital Measures: How has working with an Onboarding Consultant shaped your approach to Activity Insight implementation?
Smart: While going through our implementation and planning, Megan Sullivan, Client Onboarding Team Lead, always understood what we were trying to accomplish, and often provided better ways of doing things. She’s able to anticipate our questions and has an answer, whether it’s a report, a suggestion or something deeply technical.
I’ve learned to always keep Megan in the loop of what we have planned. She’s taught us to design better forms and make better use of the data we capture.
DM: Have you done any customizations of Activity Insight during implementation?
Smart: I’ve worked with Megan and Adam Mitchell, Developer, on numerous custom reports, including a custom Annual Report template and two custom CV templates. I had the opportunity to meet Adam at User Group and could not thank him enough for all the work he’s done for us.
DM: What makes a good vendor partner?
Smart: Megan listens, understands us and our needs, and follows through on what she says she’s going to do. She’s also extremely proactive. Listening and a willingness to go above and beyond have made our implementation successful. Here’s an example: In one of our weekly calls, I let Megan know that I ran an ad-hoc report and spent a few hours synthesizing the data that I needed. Megan let me know that there are many reports that DM staffers can run that would have provided me the information in just seconds.
Not only did I get a better report almost immediately from Megan, I learned to ask first. I’m not used to that level of service; I’m used to digging for things myself. Needless to say, I ask first now!
DM: Is there anything you’d like others to know as they consider a faculty activity reporting solution?
Smart: Change is hard, and we all know how much people love it. But the change is manageable with the support of a vendor partner. Digital Measures helped us every step of the way and Megan guided us to ensure that the system we deployed is the best it can be.
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