Many of you will be familiar with the MIS2000 Email Heartbeat that goes out on the first of each month that looks like this:
This is the first "heartbeat" we ever implemented and the goal was to make sure someone in the state is receiving the automated system emails that go out. Many things can make this fail such as a) the emails just don't go out for some reason, b) they're not getting delivered or going to spam or something, or c) people have changed jobs or whatever so the system isn't sending them to right people anymore. Having some positive feedback that the email has been received helps detect problems like this and get them resolved.
We wrote a couple more specialized "heartbeat" systems for our own internal use before deciding to write a general-purpose system that would allow us to monitor a wide variety of situations and get emails if they stop functioning as expected. We've been using this new system for a couple years and love it. I can't even tell you how many different aspects of MIS2000 function are monitored now by these heartbeats.
But we can also make this available to users as well. If you'd like to know if course history data has been received in the past few months, we can add a heartbeat for that. If you want to know if so-and-so hasn't added any new COEs or Services in the past month, we can add a heartbeat for that. We haven't put work into making this available for users yet, so we might have to figure out how to best do that, but internally we've found it to be really valuable.
Let us know if you'd like to look into custom heartbeats for your own MIS2000 system.