Kore Technologies, provider of solutions for enterprise integration, data warehousing, business intelligence, and integrated e-commerce web solutions, recently helped Wittenberg University with a multi-faceted project to improve data access.
Working within the education industry is different than with commercial corporations. “In the private sector, measures of success tend to be purely financial in nature based on revenue, profit and loss. Universities and colleges tend to measure based on not only financial measures but also on HR and student success such as the number of returning students, transfer students, and graduation rates,” said Frank Kertai, partner, Kore Technologies. In simple terms, the issue Wittenberg University was facing was their data was difficult to access.
One of the first areas selected for improvement was the housing lottery. A housing lottery on a college campus is used to determine the order in which students get to choose where they live on campus. Previously, the university’s housing lottery system and Microsoft SharePoint portal were separate. With the help of Kore’s Operational Data Store (ODS), the systems now “talk” to each other. This allows for students to be able to select their rooms and buildings, and sign rental contracts all online. This will save hundreds of hours for the housing department and make the process more time efficient for the students as well.
The solution is Kore’s Kourier Integrator which powers the ODS. The Wittenberg IT department is able to use a data warehouse to connect data from their Colleague UniData Database and other campus applications. This not only solved the issues with the housing lottery, but it opened doors to use different sets of data for the university’s benefit. An example is 30 years’ worth of alumni information. This data has been moved to the cloud by the ODS, which converts the data to CSV files. The CSV files are then loaded directly to Salesforce with a third-party application and Kourier Integrator enables the transformation of data to prepare it for extraction. “Kourier Integrator made feasible near-real-time updates to its operational data store and enabled Wittenberg to execute enterprise application integration (EAI) with Salesforce.com, giving Wittenberg the ability to better communicate with alumni and perform fund raising activities in a more methodical, effective and timely fashion,” explained Kertai. This helps make more productive use of the alumni data.
With the contributions that Kore has made to Wittenberg University’s IT department, additional departments have begun to think about how they can use data to enhance recruiting, retention, and other business applications. “The latest release of Kourier Integrator enables administrators to create an ODS from other applications such as Food Service, Housing, and Parking) and data sources such as Oracle, MySQL, MS Access, and flat files to create “one version of truth” that the entire organization can rely on for consistent analysis and reporting,” stated Kertai.
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