Until this year, the supplemental financial information has been posted online as a PDF file. This file was typically 80 pages long filled to the brim with financial information stored in tables. An example of the old PDF version is available at: https://www.cu.edu/controller/policies/2013-supplementals
These tables would often span multiple pages making it difficult to find specific information. In addition to the tables spilling over on to multiple pages, the font size is nearly illegible when viewed on the computer screen. The printed versions aren't much better.
For 2014, the Supplementals were published in HTML format. Not only does this make the report easier to navigate in a traditional web browser, but also makes the information easier to use in tablets. Since we were no longer hindered by the PDF format, which took the extra steps to add functionality to the HTML version to make easy or for people to use. We added the ability to search through the individual tables for words, phrases, and numbers. This meant that users had the ability to skip to the exact point in a table with the information they were looking for. For the larger tables we added the ability to hide columns of information - allowing users to focus in on the columns that were relevant to their current needs.
How does this impact the University?
Anytime we are making information easier to use, manage, and share, there is going to be a positive impact on the University. Navigating through an 80 page PDF file to find one line of information can be tedious and frustrating. Hopefully the 2014 HTML Supplementals will demonstrate that taking the extra step with our financial data outputs can lead to saving time and money. I also hope that this can serve as a model to be used in other departments that produce financial (or non-financial) information published in more traditional means.
This is the first year that the HTML Supplementals have been implemented.
Submitter's Name: Travis Chillemi
Submitter's Email: email@example.com