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Activitiy Insight Tips for Department Chairs and Deans

Below we present some tips for some of the most common things unit heads will be doing in AI.

Producing your own individual annual report:  Please see “Quick Tips for All Users” for managing your own data and creating your individual annual report.

Creating Your Departmental Annual Report:

  • In “manage your activities,” from the Main Menu, select  “Administrator Narratives.” Be sure to enter “Academic Year.”  Enter text in the fields and “save” your work.
  • There may be times when information entered for a previous year hasn’t changed much and, to save some time, it might be helpful to simply copy it for the new year and then make minor edits.  AI lets you copy individual screens.  Clicking on any of the links in the main menu takes you to a screen where you have the button for ‘add a new item’ plus you see a listing of previous years information entered.  For each previous year, you have 3 choices: ‘edit’, ‘copy’, and ‘delete.’  Hitting the ‘copy’ icon, say for 2011-12, will bring up all the fields for that particular screen and all your 2011- 12 information is repeated.  You’ll then want to reset this to the current year (e.g., 2012-13 when this was written) and ‘save’.  Then you can get back in and edit as desired (making sure you save as you do so of course).
  • For all items in the ‘administrator narratives’ template, you will see a small icon (‘?’ in small circle).  Clicking on these will call up ‘help’ boxes with suggestions for material you may want to include in the particular fields.

Commenting on the annual reports of faculty/staff who report to you:

  • In AI, click on “manage data” from menu on left.
  • From the “select individual” drop-down menu, choose the individual whose report in which you’ll be entering comments. Click “continue.” 
  • From AI Main Menu, find and select “Chair/Dean comments.”  You want to “add new item” (unless you’ve already started it) and then in the resulting screen you MUST enter the academic year and type in your comments.  Be sure to “Save” and the comments will appear in that person’s annual report.
  • To do same with another report, once back at the main menu, towards the top of the screen you’ll see a green bar in which it says, “you are currently managing data for ….”  Click “end” at right on that bar and you’ll be brought back to the screen at which you can select another individual.
  • Your faculty/staff should indicate that they have read your comments.  (Note:  Individual faculty/staff should get into AI and go to “Chair/Dean comments” from Main Menu to read your comments.  Then, in that screen, there is a field where they can indicate that they have read the comments plus respond if they wish to do so.)

Running Custom Reports:

There are a variety of “custom reports” you may wish to run to help you do your departmental annual report.  Here are 2 of the most important: 

  1. Individual annual reports for all those in your department.  These can be compiled into one document for your review (and also saving for your records).  To get at this and the others, once in AI, select “Run Custom Reports” in menu at left. The next screen has 5 steps for running any of the custom reports.  Next, are directions to run the annual report, but the 5 steps hold for any of the others: 
      • Select “annual report” from the drop-down menu and click on “select report.”  (Warning: We know it’s redundant, but you must hit the “Select Report” button after selecting the report from the drop-down list to refresh the page.  Note: If you wish to see the configuration of the particular custom report you selected, select “Details of how this report is built.”)

      • Select date range for the report.  Typically, this will be our reporting year cycle—July 1 through June 30, and these are now the AI default dates.  If you need other dates for whatever reason, you’ll have to reset.
      • AI’s default is to include all enabled user accounts from your unit in a report.  In essence, you could skip this step and go right to “build report” after #5.  However, while someone may be an “enabled user” in the database, often times personnel changes from year to year (even semester-to-semester).  We try to keep up with those changes but it is difficult.  It’s probably best to review who is in the list.  To see a list of who is enabled in your unit (and thus whose report would be included), select “Click here” in step 3 to open the “Select who to include” page in a pop-up window.  Choose “Individual,” and you’ll see a list of enabled accounts in your unit.  From this list, you can choose who you do or do not want included.   Or, if everyone appears valid, you can select “all.”  Click “Save” after you’ve made your selection(s).

      • Choose the file format you prefer.
      • Choose the page size you prefer.  Then select “build report.”  AI will build your report and you will be prompted to either open it or save it locally.

      • The resulting file should be a compilation, in alphabetical order, of your faculty/staff’s

        annual reports.

    1. The other custom report that you will use most frequently probably is the “Department/School Annual Report.”  This report reproduces the information you entered in the “Administrator Narratives” screen from the main menu.  Running it is done through the same steps as outlined above for other custom reports.  One difference, however, is it gives you one more choice to make: #4 – “select report options.”  You can choose to show individual items or not.  It isn’t recommended.  If you say ‘yes,’ the report will include a breakdown of the activities (e.g., publications) by individual faculty/staff.  This should be unnecessary for your departmental summary report.
    2. If there are other custom reports you want to run to help you work on your departmental report, just select it at Step #1.  The other steps will be the same.  Here is a listing of some in which you might be interested (labels should be self-evident):
      • Contracts, Grants, & Sponsored Research
      • Creative Works
      • Editorial & Review Activities
      • General Service
      • Intellectual Contributions
      • Presentations
      • Scheduled Teaching
      • Student Scholarship
      • Summary of Faculty/Staff Scholarly & Creative Accomplishments

Running Ad Hoc Reports:

You can see from the list above that there are many specific activities you can look.  AI also offers the ability to generate other, ad hoc reports.  The difference between these and “custom reports” is that the latter have been built in pre-defined ways to select only certain elements from the AI database.   In “Ad hoc reports” you can drill down to any element you want from the database. To run: 

  1. Select “run ad hoc reports” from menu on left. 
  2. Step #1 – Ignore; the “activities database” is all there is.
  3. Step #2 – Choose dates desired (default, again, is our current reporting year).
  4. Step #3 – AI default is to include all AI data in the report.  To get a subset of data, hit “click here” to open another window that tells you to “select the data to include.”  Choose “only include items checked below.”  Clicking on headings or “+” boxes will expand/collapse the lists of data elements. Continue to drill down through these as appropriate to get to the element(s) you want.  Once you’ve found the item(s), check its box (or click box by heading for “all” in that section).  Click “save” at bottom and AI returns you to the steps.
  5. Step #4 – Ignore.
  6. Step #5 – Select the unit needed.
  7. Step #6 – Select the individuals you want, similar to Step #3 in “custom reports.”
    • Step #7 – Choose the file format you prefer.
    • Step #8 – Choose the page size you prefer.  Then select “continue.”  The next screen shows you the parameters you’ve chosen and you can choose from report options further below.  (Caution: the output produced through “ad hoc reports” is not pretty, but it should give you the information you seek).

Last Updated 5/29/13

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