Centralizing data management protects the integrity of the data, version conformity, allows report generation on demand, speeds response to sudden requests and insures proper data recovery in event of disaster. Prior systems collected data for single purposes. Special calls for data throughout the year gathered lacking data for the Vice President Report, Federal Report and other reports.
NARS used a drill down approach to manage 2,500 goals, objectives, output indicators and outcome indicators. The original NARS had 10,000 questions.
Getting rid of these two programs was sold as a direct benefit to AIMS.
In addition to the two reporting applications, faculty were asked to e-mail success stories demonstrating impacts at the end of each year. These stories, often the most valuable part of our annual federal report, were under reported because the mechanism was not there to capture them when they occurred.
The AIMS support team were often thought to have analyst couches in their offices as they helped faculty deal with the frustrations that always accompany significant change. They quickly learned how to listen effectively.
Amazingly, the AIMS program worked very reliably from the beginning. However, data collection structures that worked well in theory did not work as well in practice, causing a multitude of changes that had to be made on the fly to AIMS while in production mode. Also, the Office of Staff and Leadership Development was overwhelmed in the first months with calls for help. It was not until then that the dedicated AIMS support team was put in place.
The GroupWise appointments can be set up to automatically accept and post to the individual’s calendar. There is also an event calendar in AIMS for those who prefer not to use GroupWise for managing their schedules.
A deadline of the 5 th of each month is set for entry of that month’s data. This cutoff protects the data integrity for reporting. As expected, demand on the server spikes as that data approaches each month.
With the development of AIMS, administration decided that those who conduct the activities should be accountable for entering the data.
Each year brings changes and improvements. Granting agencies have the most impact on the change schedule, but organizational changes (multi-county agents) also create new opportunities for AIMS.
Taking AIM: Demonstration Statewide Web-Based Planning, Reporting & Evaluation System AIMS Copyright 2002 – 2005 University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service