Data Integration Empowers Higher Education with a 360° View of Success


Greg Belkin, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Jitterbit

Most of us are blissfully unaware of the internal workings of the higher education experience. When we think of college, we think of learning, tests, report cards, spending time with our friends, and time away from our families used to forge our identities. 

What few of us realize is the vast infrastructure in place to ensure these experiences are seamless and uninterrupted. This infrastructure includes the utilization of technology by students, staff and faculty to manage enrollment, human resources, enterprise resource planning, financial management, communications, and many other critical systems. The challenge for these groups is managing the sheer volume of systems in a way that ensures a positive college experience that most of us look forward to when it is our turn to participate. Faculty, staff and students all have an important role in the experience.

Faculty, for example, must not only teach, but they must also navigate in-person or online forums used to interact with their students, submit grades, communicate with administration and students, submit research agendas, and many other tasks. Completing these tasks requires regular interaction with many different systems, such as learning management systems (LMS) and communications platforms.

Collegiate staff also must manage the student application process, ensure the availability of critical physical resources, attract applicants and donations, manage human resources, control finances, keep track of critical information for their entire community, and much more. These responsibilities require constant interaction with human resource management (HRM) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems

Students use online learning portals, registration systems, account management portals, communications tools and many other systems. This requires the use of many different systems, such as LMS, communications platforms, financial management portals, and others. 

Colleges and universities are designed for teaching and learning. They are usually not focused around how to maximize technology. For this reason, integrating these multiple systems together with fewer touch points makes for an easier and faster experience at all ends of the higher educational experience. 

Take, for example, Berklee Online. Berklee Online is the online extension school of Massachusetts-based Berklee College of Music. The school delivers access to the Berkley’s acclaimed curriculum from anywhere in the world and provides lifelong learning opportunities to people interested in music and working in the music industry.

Berklee Online wanted to provide its students with anywhere, anytime access to their curriculum, making digital connectivity was essential. It wanted to solve the connectivity challenge with a modern, agile approach that didn’t involve creating duplicate data across multiple systems and was easy for its students, staff and faculty. 

Harmony, Jitterbit’s Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), helped Berklee solve this challenge. Using Harmony, Berklee connected. its Salesforce platform instance with Ellucian Colleague ERP and other in-house databases to provide a 360-degree view of their student body. Data connected from multiple systems can be accessed and displayed in real-time through APIs.

With Harmony, Berklee has achieved a symphony of success: a connected, virtual campus where student information is always up-to-date and accurate.

Solutions, such as Jitterbit’s iPaaS offering, provide API integration tools that make it fast and easy to integrate higher education systems. Jitterbit’s Process Templates provide pre-built mappings and workflows for a specific integration need between endpoints. Templates provide a jump start to the integration project so that you don’t have to build everything from scratch. 

To learn more about how Berklee Online uses Jitterbit to integrate key systems together, watch this video

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