Thursday, March 13, 2008

Deep Linking

I’d like to talk about a nifty piece of technology that has great potential — deep linking. Deep linking lets two systems communicate with one another in a way that looks and feels seamless. ASU’s PeopleSoft system now has the ability to deep link to ASU Dashboards and vice versa.

What are ASU Dashboards?

ASU Dashboards organize and present data and information in a way that is easy to understand and fun to look at. Check out an example of a dashboard below.

CRM Support Dashboard

Dashboards are being created by UTO’s Enterprise Data Services Team, which includes John Rome, Don Chiurazzi, Senh Luu, Bala Gurrala, Kelly Briner and several students. The team thought it would be beneficial to be able to “deep link” into PeopleSoft via dashboards when looking at a student’s records or an open CRM case. UTO's Development Duo Robert Yosowitz and Ron Hill helped make this happen using PeopleSoft technology. With this newfound ability, a person using dashboards can drill down into the original, live data where appropriate. Pretty nifty?

Many of the dashboard developers are students who are gaining great experience developing dashboards.

Want to see deep linking for yourself? ASU employees who’d like to look up their Year-to-Date earnings can login to Employee Self Service, click on “2007 YE Balances,” and easily view their earnings without realizing they are actually using a dashboard. Because dashboards can be customized, ASU's dashboards look just like a PeopleSoft screen. This is the beauty of deep linking and is a terrific example of Amazondotcomification as everything is stitched into a single environment. Deep linking has great potential going forward.

Other Cool Dashboards

Another new feature in ASU Dashboards is the Research Dashboard, which allows you to take a closer look at research projects going on across the University. The drill-down interface is easy to use and gives an overview of proposals, awards, and expenditures. You can check out different research projects by academic department, research center, or sponsor, and you can even search by an investigator’s name. Get monthly details or watch for trends using three-year charts spanning back as far as February 2000.


The Research Dashboard is filled with all kinds of handy built-in features, thanks to Rick Bolin, the database programmer behind the scenes; the PRIDE Analytics team, who helped with the initial design; and Senh Luu and Don Chiurazzi, who implemented the design as the dashboard we see today. For example, clicking on an investigator’s name will take you to that investigator’s ASU Directory profile so you can learn more about the person behind the research. Data is also rolled up together and presented in a consistent manner, eliminating discrepancies that occur over time, like changes in an academic department’s name or location.

And thanks to the collaborative efforts of videographer and editor Matt Robinson and cameraman Andrew Maher, you can now watch a movie explaining how ASU Dashboards work. Leading actor John Rome takes center stage, and Anish Adalja’s creative direction adds clarity and a designer’s edge to the movie.


Looking forward to your questions and comments...