As the newspapers are filled with stories of reduced funding and mid-year budget cuts, access to up-to-date financial information is critical for deans, chairs, department heads, and other signatory officers. Taking advantage of the speed of the SAP HANA database that was implemented one year ago, the Office of Information Technology (IT) proudly announces the roll-out of a new financial/budget report within myOleMiss Analytics. This new report, based on SAP’s Budget Control System, includes budget, commitments, expenditures, available balances, payroll details, and a detailed ledger of all account activity that was designed to resemble a checkbook register. IT partnered with the Office of Accounting to develop this new report.
The report was built using the Tableau reporting tool, which was selected to be the platform for UM’s enterprise reporting strategy as part of the SAP HANA project. Tableau provides users with a feature-rich experience, more dynamic than what is offered in the current Analytics reports. It is also a real-time report, which means if a financial posting takes place in SAP and the report is refreshed, the most up-to-date information, including the new posting, will be displayed.
Joy Shideler, Director of Accounting, supports these improvements by saying “Users will appreciate and benefit from the ability to have real-time access to their financial data through the improved functionality and capabilities provided through the Tableau reporting tool.”
The report has multiple tabs for summary and the details behind the summary. Unlike the current Analytics report, users do not have to drill into the details; simply clicking on the tab at the top of the screen will show the user all of the associated data. A new reporting option, the Ledger of Posting, is available on the last tab. This tab contains budget details: commitment and actual detail postings, along with the updated Available Budget shown at the bottom of the report.
Another new feature on the report allows users to see the details of their Budget postings – including the carryforward details and any budget transfers.
While the report was being developed, the team worked with a small pilot group of users from the College of Liberal Arts to solicit feedback on the report and to identify areas that could be further enhanced. The pilot users were given early access to the completed report on Friday, January 13, and they were quite pleased with the enhancements. “The new budget report in Tableau is a tremendous new tool that puts us leaps and bounds ahead of the past access to budget information,” noted Kirsten Dellinger, Department Chair and Professor of Sociology and Anthropology. “In my conversations with many department chairs in the College of Liberal Arts over the years, one major topic of conversation has been the need for easily accessible and intuitive access to our budgets. This new interface makes you feel like you are reading a bank statement!”
The “Tableau – Budget Report – Non GM Funds” report is currently available within myOleMiss Analytics on the Budget Control System tab. When opening the report, the “open report in a new window” option must be selected.
IT and the Office of Accounting will be holding informational “How To” sessions the week of January 30th around campus to demonstrate the functionality of the report and to allow potential users to become familiar with how to use it. There are currently two sessions scheduled. The first is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on February 1st in Bishop Room 209. The second is in the Thad Cochran Research Center, room 1000, at 9:00 a.m. on February 2nd.
A “How To” document for this report has been added on the Help & FAQs tab of Analytics that will help first-time users of the report become more comfortable with the functionality that is available in the report. For those who would like a little extra help getting started, hands-on sessions for training can be scheduled on an appointment basis.
For principal investigators and other managers of sponsored research dollars, it should be noted that this report currently does not contain data from accounts managed with SAP Grants Management. This is because the current GM reports within myOleMiss Analytics are far more detailed in nature, and currently meet the reporting needs of the UM research community. However, those reports are slated to be migrated to Tableau as part of IT’s overall reporting strategy utilizing our production SAP HANA system.
Another benefit of the new Tableau report is that it provides all of the data in a single report, thereby eliminating four reports that have been offered in myOleMiss Analytics. The reports listed below will be retired from myOleMiss Analytics on February 15, 2017:
- Budget Control System – Funds 10, 30, 60 and Auxiliary Units (For 35 Funds use GM Reports)
- Budget Control System – Funds 25 and 70 (For 35 Funds use GM Reports)
- Payroll Details Report
- Report – Athletic Budget
Dr. Dellinger and the other pilot users couldn’t be happier with the new report. “This new system addresses budget management in an incredibly effective way,” stated Dr. Dellinger. “Many thanks to everyone who made this possible.”
For more information about the Tableau reporting tool, please visit www.olemiss.edu/tableau.
Tags: Analytics, myOleMiss, Tableau