Data powers new ideas at Te Pūkenga | Manukau Institute of Technology
By Kyle Brown
“Bring your ideas to life” is a fitting slogan for the Manukau Institute of Technology, a business division of Te Pūkenga — New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (MIT).
Te Pūkenga is the largest provider of technical, vocational, and professional training in Aotearoa New Zealand. Every year, 14,000 students come to the MIT business division to pursue the academic qualifications they need to transform their dreams into careers.
As they grew, MIT began to notice inefficiencies in their disjointed systems and disparate data sources. Handling a large volume of student data across so many campuses and departments, they needed a way to harness that critical data to improve business processes. This digital transformation started with a modest project back in 2015.
At the time, bills were generated by painstakingly collecting data across the Institute’s 11 campuses, manually entering that data into a central finance application, and waiting days for results. This process was inefficient and cumbersome — they needed a way to integrate these systems and update this archaic process.
MIT began leveraging Talend to help streamline their internal billing system. Using Talend, the data could be integrated automatically in minutes, taking the risk out of a previously manual process and freeing up staff to focus on higher-value activities. The shift was apparent — MIT knew their digital transformation had just begun. What else could they accomplish by harnessing the power of their data with Talend?
Moving to the cloud
The next initiative was a transition from on-premises systems to the cloud, where a wide range of applications and data from multiple sources could be stored and accessed quickly and flexibly.
Talend’s cloud-based platform and its partnership with AWS made this project smooth and non-disruptive.
Talend gives us the ease of use, the affordable price, the support, and the scope of solutions we need to move ahead with our plans.— Gerald Masters, Head of Technology Services, Manukau Institute of Technology | Te Pūkenga
“The migration to cloud made it easier for us to support a whole range of operational improvements – from simplifying the onboarding process for staff, to updating library records, to integrating financial information,” said Gerald Masters, Head of Technology Services at MIT. “It gave us a whole new level of agility. We could move as rapidly as the company needed, whether it was helping to recruit more academic staff, or adjusting to remote learning due to COVID, or whatever else came along.”
Today, with a unified data source in the cloud, MIT continues to put new use cases on the drawing board. “We originally selected Talend because it was so easy to learn and use, but we’re discovering new ways Talend could grow with us and support our mission,” said Mr. Masters. New initiatives are constantly forming, including a unified student management system and mergers.
Unifying the student management system
MIT is evaluating the concept of building a secure, integrated data repository that would help ensure that each student is receiving the support they need to thrive in their academic program.
“We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can for each student, every step of the way,” said Mr. Masters. “Whether that’s streamlining the financial aid process, or simplifying class registration, or even identifying potential risks of their dropping out, we want to use our data to help them be successful.”
For example, the student management system could check how often students are on campus or whether they’re logging on to the learning management system, enabling staff to contact students who seem to be having difficulties.
Simplicity and scalability for the future
Whatever the future may hold for exploring new Talend use cases, Mr. Masters is appreciative of the simplicity, scalability, and agility the Talend platform brings to MIT.
“None of this would be possible if the tools were too complex or expensive to use,” he said. “Talend is easy to learn; we can get answers to technical questions through the Talend Community, and we’re making good use of the Talend Academy to keep moving forward.”
MIT’s success with Talend is not just about exploring the art of the possible. “It’s about fulfilling today’s requirements, right now,” he said. “Talend gives us the ease of use, the affordable price, the support, and the scope of solutions we need to move ahead with our plans.”
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