Integrating Banner with Cayuse to improve pre- and post-award collaboration at University of Memphis
Staff enjoy easier reporting and less duplicate data entry
Like many pre-award offices, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at the University of Memphis used to be completely paper-based. Then the office adopted Sponsored Projects and went completely paperless. OSP Senior Director Heather Winters didn’t stop there, though. She wanted to use Sponsored Projects to its fullest potential, so the next step was integrating SP with Ellucian Banner Finance, the university’s financial system of record.
“A Banner integration was something we always wanted to do,” says Electronic Research Administrator Leslie Ingram. It was time-consuming to use it independently of Sponsored Projects. “It took several days out of my week just to get data in Banner,” Ingram says. Winters estimated this manual data entry took about 20 hours each week.
Part of the issue was a lack of collaboration between pre- and post-award offices. The Grants Accounting office and the OSP used Ellucian Banner Finance differently, so proposal data was in multiple places—or it was missing altogether. “There were a lot of fields in Banner that our post-award office wasn’t using,” Winters says. “The activity code called ‘Other Sponsored Activity’ was something we use in pre-award all the time, but not post-award, so that was one of the challenges.” Data that was shared between the two offices ended up having to be triple-checked, an inefficient process. And if changes occurred after proposal submission, Ingram had to make them manually in Ellucian Banner Finance.
“It took several days out of my week just to get data in Banner.”
The Office of Sponsored Programs began integrating Sponsored Projects and Ellucian Banner Finance, and Ingram started by going through every single data point in Cayuse one by one. She created a mapping document that listed the table where data was in Sponsored Projects, the table where it should be in Ellucian Banner Finance, and any translation that needed to occur. She also revised data fields in both Ellucian Banner Finance and Sponsored Projects. “The mapping document, in my opinion, is gold,” says Winters (in fact, other universities have called the university to ask about it).
They also had to decide how data conflicts would be handled. “We did a lot of compromising and deciding which data points would win—would it be pre-award or post-award?” Winters says. “We relied on federal rules and regulations. If it was financial reporting, we had to make some concessions on the pre-award side, or if we had federal Uniform Guidance rules on the pre-award side, then that dictated what was in Banner. Even so, there’s still someone in each office that has to make a determination on certain factors.”
Since the Sponsored Projects and Ellucian Banner Finance integration went live, “Now our Banner data and our Cayuse data match up,” Ingram says. “If something doesn’t map over, we get a report right after the transfer. We know immediately if something didn’t work.”
“The integration allowed us to increase our reporting capabilities in both systems,” Winters says. “Before, we were only capturing about 10 sponsor type fields, and now we have 30 or so.” Ingram adds, “I’ve been doing the reporting before and after it was integrated, and it is so much easier now.”
Peace of Mind
“There were no checks and balances before we had the integration,” Winters says. “Before, someone could just change it in Banner and we’d never know, but now if data gets changed in Cayuse, it automatically changes in Banner.”
“We have a better relationship between pre- and post-award too,” Winters continues. “We had meetings and follow-ups, and we share information now. Since we’ve done data integration, we’ll be able to have an award processing timeline, so we’ll know exactly where delays are. We can generate all of that with Cayuse. It’s like night and day.”
“I’ve been doing the reporting before and after it was integrated, and it is so much easier now. We have a lot more information in Cayuse.”
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