What is Banner?
Banner is an administrative software application developed specifically for higher education institutions by Systems and Computer Technology Corporation (SCT). Banner maintains student, alumni, financial and personnel data. It consists of six integrated systems:
- ALUMNI DEVELOPMENT
- FINANCIAL AID
- HUMAN RESOURCES
The systems are highly integrated because they all share a common database. This common database is shared by everyone who uses Banner at CCSU, which makes it easy to maintain records on someone who applies to the University, becomes a student, graduates, and then becomes an alumnus.
Technically, data is not actually stored in Banner. Data is stored in a powerful database called ORACLE. It would be difficult for a non-technical user to directly add or retrieve data from the actual database. The Banner software acts as an interface to the ORACLE database, making the job of adding or retrieving data much easier. Banner provides the features and processing capabilities needed for student information (admissions, registration, etc.), alumni information (sponsor identification, campaign management, etc.), personnel information (employee benefits, salary/deduction history, etc.), financial aid information (needs analysis, packaging, etc.) and finance information (general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, etc.).
Banner is made up of systems which in turn are made up modules, each of which handle a major function. For example, the Finance system modules include General Ledger, Stores Inventory, Purchasing, Accounts Payable, Budgeting, Accounts Receivable, Fixed Assets, and Grants. The Human resource modules cover functions such as Payroll, Benefits, Applicant Tracking, Position Control, and COBRA. Modules for the Alumni system include Campaigns, and Gift and Pledge Processing. Some of the Student system includes Admissions, Scheduling, Registration, and Academic History.
Because of the common database, multiple departments use the information entered into Banner (See CCSU's Shared Data Entry Standards). Other departments share data, sometimes several years in the future. For example, a name change would be reflected in the Student, Financial Aid, Human Resource, and Alumni systems.
Though information on Banner is shared, many users are allowed only to look up (query) specific information. When you perform a query, you retrieve information from the database and display that information on the screen. Banner has a variety of tools that let you search by name and automatically retrieve associated information.
Banner also has sophisticated security measures to make sure that only authorized individuals have access to specific data.