UAIR launches Teams hub for open discussions related to UAccess

A computer monitor displays "UAIR" next to a laptop showing the Microsoft Teams logo

A new Microsoft Teams channel called UAIR Support Hub is replacing the UAccess Analytics Community Forum. The Support Hub is structured like a chat forum.

The user community of UAccess Analytics is about to get a new home: Under the leadership of University Analytics and Institutional Research, a new Microsoft Teams space called UAIR Support Hub is replacing the UAccess Analytics Community Forum. The online forum is a professional networking website designed for members of the University community who use any of the various UAccess systems, such as payroll and time reporting. 

UAIR created the Support Hub in response to the sunsetting of the UAccess Community website, where the community forum was housed, said Ravneet Chadha, associate vice present for UAIR and the University's chief data officer. 

Ravneet Chadha, associate vice president for University Analytics and Institutional Research and chief data officer

Ravneet Chadha, associate vice president for University Analytics and Institutional Research and chief data officer

"We have seen how beneficial the Analytics Forum has been for UAccess Analytics users over the years, and in light of being notified that the entire UAccess Community site is shutting down, we wanted to make sure we kept the conversation going and carry that community forward," he said.

With the UAIR Support Hub, users can share knowledge, ask questions and engage in discussions on all things analytics and reporting at the University of Arizona on a new platform, to be rolled out later this month.

According to Chadha, the new platform is designed to grow the user population and provide the same, if not better, level of support that users of the community forum are used to. 

UAccess Community was built 15 years ago to support employees getting used to all the UAccess systems, Chadha explained, and trying to figure out how to submit time or find specific reports.

With the UAIR Support Hub, which will live on Microsoft Teams, multiple users can ask questions – and anyone can answer – in what Chadha thinks is a friendlier, easier and more productive way. 

"We believe this is especially important for new employees and will help them not feel overwhelmed," he said. "They know exactly where to go."

Most importantly, there will be no break in service, he said, adding that the driving force behind the effort is firmly rooted in providing the best customer service.

"Obviously, you can still reach out to us via email, phone call or text," Chadha said, "but on day-to-day basis, a lot of employees have Teams open anyway, so they can just message there and they'll get a response quickly."

Answers in less than 24 hours 

As part of the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the facilitator of the University's Enterprise Data Warehouse, UAIR provides data, information and analytics to decision makers as a way to inform policies and practices that benefit students and units on campus. 

UAIR's staff includes data analysts, scientists, engineers, developers and customer support specialists. They oversee and maintain systems and services that support transactions as well as operational and strategic goals of the University. The team also interprets data and analysis results, facilitates education to enhance data literacy on campus, and provides for the accreditation and licensing data needs of the University. 

UAIR will provide guidance and management around the Support Hub, which Chadha described as a public professional forum, broken down into data channels a feature that was not available before. 

"Say you have an employee-related question. You go into that channel and post your question there," Chadha said. "If you have a student-related question, you go there. That way, it's not a hodgepodge of comments going back and forth."

Currently, UAccess Analytics has more than 4,600 provisioned users. All will receive an email inviting them to join the UAIR Support Hub, where they can read through what's happening on the community at their convenience or tap into the collective wisdom of colleagues who work on similar projects. 

"We want to be a place where a lot of people on campus can be the data experts," Chadha said. "Say a college is trying to put an analysis together for budgetary purposes or student-related work. They can say, 'Hey, I've already done this, I can help you out.' In this way, the Support Hub on Teams becomes a community of practice."

A one-stop-shop for data and analytics

At the Enterprise Data Warehouse, information from the UAccess systems across campus comes together and is being plugged into data models, which then are being leveraged into reporting, Chadha explained. These reports include reminders about submitting a time sheet for each pay period, vacation time expiration notifications, budget expenses, employee statistics and other topics.

"For example, if someone is interested in knowing how many international students are enrolled at the University, how many come from ZIP codes in California, or whatever, this is the type of data we provide," Chadha said.

The Support Hub is structured like a chat forum where users, including UAIR staff, can respond to questions immediately. 

"You don't have to wait for emails or submit a request, and all forum members are welcome to answer a question," Chadha said. 

UAIR team members will act as forum moderators to ensure that the content remains accessible and organized. For example, if a question is posted in the wrong section, they will move it to the appropriate one so people can answer it there. 

Consistency and workflow efficacy were guiding principles in developing the platform, Chadha said.

"We firmly believe that if we take care of our customers, the rest will follow,'" he said. "That's been our guiding principle at UAIR, and we take pride in that."

UAIR Support Hub is slated to go live on May 20. Information on how to join the platform will be sent out by UAIR in coming newsletters, including a link to join.

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