Digital transformation, data and the future of education

June 17, 2022

By James Campbell, Regional Manager, Australia New Zealand at SnapLogic

Digital transformation, data and the future of education

The next generation of student engagement is here. For years, these ‘digital natives’ have been consuming digital information and stimuli quickly and comfortably via devices and platforms like laptops, iPads, smartphones, and social media. Students are now expecting consistent, real-time access to information on housing, parking, class schedules, grades, financial aid and more.

But are education institutions across APAC digitally prepared to attract, engage and retain this new generation of ‘hybrid’, globally minded students?

The pressure is on universities to innovate

Faced with increased pressure to drive enrolment and retention and up against a student body, both current and prospective, that is rethinking whether, when and where they should attend university; higher ed institutions must place an even higher emphasis on delivering a remarkable digital experience.

Today’s most progressive universities and colleges are doing that. They’re rising to meet the challenge by embracing the cloud, unifying their applications and systems, and putting data front and centre of their strategies to enrich the experiences of all — students, faculty and alumni.

How data analytics helps higher education adapt and scale

Technology plays a significant role in how educational institutions differentiate themselves, unlock fresh opportunities to educate new learners via innovative business models and pursue strategic business initiatives. Having flexible and scalable digital platforms built on trust that marries data and intelligence in a way that is student-centric and supported by a vibrant ecosystem of providers and skilled higher education users is key.

With so much riding on the ability to deliver a seamless, connected experience for students, faculty, administrators and alumni, universities must integrate their data and apps and automate their processes. They need to connect all of their disparate systems.

This integration enables a single source of truth where data and applications can communicate effectively with one another to optimise the experience for all, resulting in better recruitment, experience, retention and student success.

Faster integrations enable universities to keep pace with today’s students’ expectations while taking the burden of manual work off end users. Think of all the highly repetitive and recurring processes happening every day in universities like application process, tuition reconciliation and housing assignments — these can and should be automated.

Unlocking the right data-driven solution

Colleges and universities that are serious about future-proofing their business model are already leveraging innovative, data-driven solutions to modernise their IT infrastructure and drive connected experiences for students, faculty and alumni with fast, streamlined and efficient processes.

AI-powered integration platforms use advanced machine learning algorithms to learn from millions of metadata elements and billions of data flows. Then that learning is applied to improve the speed and quality of integrations across data, applications, and business processes.

By harnessing the power of innovative, data-driven platforms, higher education institutions also have access to data and analytics that are key to better decisioning, allowing them to compete at scale and lower costs.

As an example, SnapLogic’s Intelligent Integration Platform uses AI-powered workflows to accelerate all stages of IT integration projects – design, development, deployment, and maintenance – whether on-premises, in the cloud or in hybrid environments.

The platform’s self-service interface enables both expert and citizen integrators to manage all application integration, data integration, API management, B2B integration and data engineering projects on a single, scalable platform.

The universities getting it right

As colleges and universities around the globe race to integrate data and apps to ensure students’ health, safety, remote learning and modern learning experience.

As an example, Boston University (BU), which is another innovative standout in the higher ed space. Founded in 1839, it’s one of the largest private universities in the US and a leader in academia. The university believes higher education should be accessible to all. Unfortunately, challenges within its data architecture prevented students, faculty and professional staff from accessing and utilising the resources and information they needed.

Since partnering with SnapLogic to streamline and optimise its application submission process and automate processes around research operations, class scheduling, building access and more, BU has achieved incredible results. For one, integration speed has improved two-fold thanks to quicker application integration and data migration. The student application process is faster and problem-free and improvements to information, research quality and physical security have been achieved.

“With SnapLogic as the iPaaS platform of record for Boston University, we now have a single source of truth for all our data, allowing us to establish a faster, more reliable admissions process for prospective students. Our IT team has now become a trusted party among departments and campus organizations, which further empowers our students, faculty, and staff to effectively share knowledge across academia and research,” says Carmine A. Granucci, Assistant Director of Integration at Boston University.

Vassar College provides a third example of data integration done right. This highly selective, coeducational, independent liberal arts college founded in 1861 knows the key to staying ahead lies in an effective data integration strategy. That’s why it turned to SnapLogic.

“After evaluating many options in the market, we chose SnapLogic because it was built for the cloud, supports hybrid cloud application and data integration, gives us the ability to scale by building and managing integration more quickly, and offers a user interface that is easy to use,” says Elizabeth Hayes, Deputy CIO at Vassar College.

With SnapLogic’s code-less connectors, Vassar’s IT team has been able to reduce expenses and defer the costs of integrating with Workday, the replacement for its 20-year-old legacy Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. SnapLogic has also helped solved Vassar’s bookstore challenges, integrating Workday’s ERP system with the bookstore’s POS system in real-time.

Vassar was also able to integrate the school’s learning management system, Moodle, with student course enrolment data. This system alignment assists faculty members to quickly determine if a student has dropped a class, and lets students accurately and expeditiously track their homework assignments and grades.

“I like to think we are at the cutting edge of innovation at Vassar College. I share with my fellow CIOs at other colleges and universities that we are now able to undertake truly complex integrations, rapidly pushing them through in a standardized format,” said Hayes.

The future of education is built on intelligent integration

The pressure is on to ensure that digitally native students are engaged with real-time access to all the information they need. But the future is exciting. There’s now ample opportunity for higher education institutions to leverage digital tools to personalise and optimise learning for students, to ensure success through a combination of classroom and online learning courses. In order to do so, they need to have access to insights to predict which classes should be offered and how to best meet the varied needs of individual students. And alumni need to be identified, tracked and continually engaged to help secure vital funding.

Without connected data and applications, all of this becomes increasingly hard to do, if not impossible. And ultimately, the experience suffers – for students, faculty, and alumni alike. That’s why integration is key to enabling universities to deliver the seamless, modern experience that students, faculty and staff not only expect but deserve now, and into the future.

About the Author

James Campbell is Regional Manager, Australia New Zealand at SnapLogic. With nearly two decades of experience, James is a seasoned B2B tech leader with a strong track record of managing high-performance teams while consistently delivering against key business objectives. James thrives on helping customers derive immense value from SnapLogic technology.

About SnapLogic

SnapLogic powers the automated enterprise. The company’s self-service, AI-powered integration platform helps organisations connect applications and data sources, automate common workflows and business processes, and deliver exceptional experiences for customers, partners, and employees. Thousands of enterprises around the world rely on the SnapLogic platform to integrate, automate, and transform their business. Learn more at


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