NGSIS Platform Modernization

For over three years, NGSIS worked to modernize the existing ROSI infrastructure with a series of high-powered servers and a refreshed code base. The NGSIS Platform Modernization Project, launched on November 19, 2018, was one of the largest of its kind to be undertaken at U of T. The new platform has improved system performance and capacity, and allows for real-time integration with enterprise systems. These improvements will increase the University’s technological capacity to enhance services that will benefit students, as well as administrative staff through the NGSIS program.

Benefits

  • Permits 15,000 students to access the system via ACORN simultaneously versus
  • the current 700.
  • Provides new option for PDF output.
  • Allows for a modern file management interface.
  • Works directly in popular web browsers.
  • Opens up the potential for live integration between divisional systems and ROSI.
  • Helps U of T stay at the forefront of technological innovation.

Accomplishments and Initial Impact

  • Over 200 User Acceptance Testing participants completed 500 test cases and helped to transition over 1,700 ROSI users.
  • 6 large scale informational forums, including registrarial and technical attendees, and visits to 37 divisions.
  • Information sessions, new website, workshops, webinars and hands-on help offered to support users for implementation.
  • After cutover, only 3 regular users inquired about how to log into the new system.
  • Bounce rate has dropped by 82 per cent. More students are accessing the application successfully and finding the information they need.
  • Database server has 70 per cent more capacity.
  • Session duration has decreased by 6 per cent while the number of pageviews has increased by 37 per cent.

Data Decision Support System

An important part of this project involves the implementation of a cloud-based copy of the ROSI database, called the Data Decision Support System, which allows staff to perform operational and analytical reports in near real-time.

Benefits:

  • Near real-time access to ROSI data.
  • 7 per cent up time.
  • Multiple user access 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
  • Secure data storage at a Microsoft Data Centre.
  • Data encrypted at rest and in transit.
  • Ability to scale system resources up or down as needed.
  • Faster access to data than ROSI.
  • Access to modern analytic tools.
  • Increased data security.
  • Improved data governance (authorization and access).

Who Benefits?
Students

– Enhanced user experience since students no longer need to compete with administrative staff for processing power.

Rocket Shuttle Users

– Faster queries with access to real-time data.
– Enhanced scheduling of queries.

Divisional Leadership
– Improved decision making capabilities with up-to-date data.

Future Plans:
Divisional Data Stores

Divisions can store their data in the cloud and lower data maintenance work.
– Information is secure, requires no physical administration and enables automatic backups.

Data Lake Pilot
A secure storage repository holding vast amounts of raw data in its native form such as Word, Excel, etc.
– ROSI data (available for analysis outside of ROSI) in near real-time.
– Central and divisional data can be combined with the Data Decision Support System for comprehensive analysis.

Data Science Virtual Machines
Cloud environment for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence development featuring the latest tools.
– Secure access to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning platforms.
– On-demand elastic capacity.

Phase 1 access for Rocket Shuttle users is planned for May 2019.

See more details at the Student Information Systems (SIS) website.

Impact Report Cover Image

NGSIS Impact Report

September 2019 - December 2020

Download the NGSIS Impact Report and find out more about what we do and the direction we're taking.