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...


Jamie Ell March 19, 2008 at 9:50 PM  

That deep linking feature is pretty nifty! I'm looking forward to other innovations that would make consolidated data presentations that simple.

Hypotheek Berekenen April 28, 2008 at 9:16 AM  

That are some awesome dashboards. And very cool initiative for students to gain more real-life experience with tools like these.

At our company we use several management dashboards, and it would be nice to have one dashboard myself for my small blog :) so if there are any ASU volunteers ;-)


Geek May 30, 2008 at 12:23 PM  

Wow, great tools you have there, and it looks very organized :)

studentforce,  July 20, 2008 at 9:50 AM  

May I send along an example of dashboards created using studentforce (a native application built on the platform). It too relies on information stored in a PeopleSoft Financaials system as well as a banks's student loan system and other financials. All done seamlessly without the user wondering where it came from but all updated in real time. Oh! by the way - have grades, stats on professor's, etc. that can be shared. Thanks!

Sarah March 18, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

Wow, you are very blessed to have that team of developers! My IT team is also lucky to have people that can build dashboards. Ours are all based. What language/platform are your dashboards written in? They look incredible.


Adrian Sannier March 23, 2009 at 7:59 AM  

Thanks Sarah...We do ours with a tool called Corda ( We've been using it for the past couple of years and really like it.

Hypotheek March 23, 2009 at 8:52 PM  

The story and picture looks organized, great!