Implementing a faculty activity reporting solution is a many-faceted project that needs the right support to gain traction and meet its goals. Fortunately, a great working relationship with a Digital Measures Engagement Specialist made all the difference for Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) School of Business. Here is the School’s success story.
Established in 1838, Virginia Commonwealth University is a premier urban public research university with nationally ranked academic programs and more than 31,000 students. Its Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-accredited business school was founded in 1937, and maintains strong connections with the business community surrounding the campus. VCU’s School of Business has been recognized by Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report as one of the top undergraduate and graduate business programs in the country.
When VCU’s School of Business first purchased Activity Insight, they were using an in-house solution to track faculty productivity. That meant that there was a need for migrating existing data to Activity Insight. “Changing systems is not a straightforward process. The in-house solution was based on different processes, assumptions and data model. It took me a long time to understand those differences and to be able to create a migration plan. I came from a relational database background, so I wasn’t understanding how Activity Insight worked with data and reporting,” said Evandro Moreno, webmaster for the VCU School of Business.
That all changed when Moreno attend Digital Measures User Group in 2015. “Everything clicked after my first User Group. I met Andrew Wiech, my Engagement Consultant, and talked with other people as well, including developers, and was able to understand Activity Insight’s technical model,” he said.
With connections made, implementation progressed rapidly. “From then on, Andrew made himself available anytime. I bothered him with questions and texts at weird hours and days—I talked with him once on a Saturday while he was driving to a music festival! Andrew knew my technical background, so he understood what I was trying to ask, and could explain how Activity Insight’s architecture works. Andrew and the development team worked with us to find a way of getting what we needed done,” Moreno said.
The School of Business was working with a tight schedule as they planned to use Activity Insight as a source of information for the school’s AACSB reaccreditation report. With pressing deadlines, Moreno appreciated off-hours support. “Sometimes I would have to work on the weekend and if I had a question on Saturday morning, just one text from Andrew meant I could continue working instead of being stuck waiting for an answer on Monday and losing two days of work time,” he said.
Keys to Success
The knowledge Engagement Specialists bring to the table is crucial for clients like VCU. “They’ve talked with many other clients with similar issues, and are basically a live knowledge base. They’re always able to help you,” Moreno said. “I think that Digital Measures understands that the biggest value of Activity Insight is the customer service. You have to do a lot of personalization to create the right environment to support your business processes. It’s the customization that makes it possible. Digital Measures does a great job—we couldn’t be happier.”
He also praised the Resource Center, the online Activity Insight knowledge base. “It changed a lot through the time I’ve been working with Activity Insight. The Client Success team really understands the issues, and answers them in the Resource Center—there’s articles, videos, everything you need.” Moreno shared.
Wiech credits Moreno knowing what was “nice to have” and what was “need to have” in order to meet VCU’s AACSB reporting goals. “He understood that we’re on the same team. We’re both accountable for his success,” Wiech said. “He knew when to push for new features and when not to push so we stayed on track.” In this case, in the Spring of 2016, success took the form of extending the VCU School of Business’ AACSB accreditation for five more years.
Learn more about how the Digital Measures Client Success team helps clients achieve their goals here. And if you have a success story to share, please let us know in the comments below.