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How Kent State University is streamlining processes for recruiting and admitting students

How Kent State University is streamlining processes for recruiting and admitting students

  • Martine Vesco
    Martine Vesco joined Talend in 2016 as a Senior Customer Marketing Manager. In this role, Martine develops and maintains a trusted advisor relationship with key customer contacts and creates Customer Reference programs as well as communities. Prior to Talend, Martine held a number of senior positions in customer marketing at leading software companies such as Dassault Systèmes, Business Objects and Workday.

Kent State University is a public research university located in Kent, Ohio, with an enrollment of nearly 41,000 students. 

Success in recruiting qualified students in sufficient numbers is the lifeblood of any university. In its efforts to aggregate data related to admissions, Kent State found itself dealing with a “spaghetti mess”, further complicated by its hybrid environment. Currently, the university relies on an on-premises Banner ERP system, but its Salesforce CRM and other SaaS applications live in the cloud.

Facilitating the transition to a cloud-based environment

To find the right solution to serve as a centralized integration hub, Kent State put out an RFP and evaluated software from several vendors. The university considered utilizing Talend because it provides data integration, ESB, data quality and master data management all in one solution. The university decided to deploy for Talend Cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The cloud-native character of Talend also helped decide Kent State in its favor.

"Data is the currency of higher education. It enables us to build relationships and understand how to engage students, faculty, staff, researchers, and alumni more effectively" - John Rathje, CIO

Talend played a huge role in supplying a wide range of data to multiple organizations in Salesforce. Talend enabled the school to integrate between 25 and 50 separate sources containing purchased lists of names of prospective students and import the data into Salesforce to be used in recruiting communications. Talend’s prebuilt connectors, and especially the Salesforce connector, streamlined the Kent State's typical processes.

Managing the admissions process

A key Kent State system that relies heavily on Talend is CollegeNET, the school’s CRM system for managing the admissions process for graduate and international students. Talend is the critical component that integrates CollegeNET with Banner, the ERP widely used in higher education.

By catching faulty data early, Talend Cloud Data Stewardship has also eliminated the need for admissions staff to manually change data in Banner. That data cleansing process used to take up to 20 minutes per applicant and has now been significantly reduced. Currently, Kent State’s main ERP and data warehouse are on-premises, but plans are to move both source and target systems to the cloud. “Once we’re there,” says Holly Slocum, Director of Process Evaluation and Improvement for Kent State, “the flexibility the Talend cloud engines give us will enable us to avoid moving data in the cloud to an on-prem remote engine, then back up to the cloud. We also plan to look into installing Talend in an AWS or Microsoft Azure instance. If we want to take advantage of services from cloud providers, we’re not stuck with running the engine on-prem.” 

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