Lessons learned from the University of Ottawa

Modernizing the system for annual reporting becomes an opportunity for improving how data is assessed and gathered.

The University of Ottawa identified an opportunity in UNIWeb’s ability to collect user data and use it for generating reports and maintaining public profiles. Automating reports means less work for researchers, minimized errors, and a significantly more time-effective solution than producing the reports by hand. With software now creating the reports instead of researchers, the reports could be elaborately designed based on what benefits the end readers. This new report system and it’s easily reviewed data benefits the whole campus. As data can be collected into UNIWeb from online repositories as well as the CCV website, researchers can quickly assemble the data that the administration requires. 

After completing the requirement analysis of all academic units, the institution requested 21 new sections and a total of 305 new fields for the UNIWeb CV. This means that the CV data captured by uOttawa’s UNIWeb is significantly larger than that captured by the CCV. These additions are bilingual, including the names of the fields, the options available for data entry, and the help text displayed for both sections and fields.

As report documents would now be generated by software based on precise rules defined by the institution, this was an opportunity to design a report template that included sophisticated calculations, styling, and formatting to create an effective document for reviewers to evaluate. The design addresses the reviewers’ needs, summarizing information in a clear, concise way that hadn’t been realistic when researchers produced the paperwork manually.

The report template was made in both English and French languages, allowing users to enter data in their preferred language, or in both if they so choose. Enabling an automatically generated document that could accommodate both English and French had its linguistic challenges. Documents produced in French have additional grammatical concerns compared to the English versions, such as the feminine and masculine forms of titles and degrees. Proximify engineers collaborated with experts at the university to ensure the gender concordance of the French version of the template, and created an option that allowed users to choose whether they preferred the masculine or feminine form. 

The uoCV is a sophisticated document with elegant institutional branding. It has a version for the production of the annual activity report, where all the variables are preset, such as the time frame of the document and the sections included. There is another version, the ‘Personal CV,’ that lets users customize the document for other applications. The options for users include choosing the time frame of the document (how many years back the document should go), selecting the sections they want to include, and choosing the citation style.