How Palm Beach State is Using iPaaS to Aggregate Student Data for Improved Student Experience

Customer Spotlight: Palm Beach State College

"We know iPaaS can keep all the integrations and data in sync, so we can bring it all into the data warehouse."

Connecting the Dots Between Workday, CANVAS, EAB, Eventbrite, RAVE and More.

Palm Beach State College, located in Florida, serves more than 50,000 students across five campus locations. Within IT, they support 600 applications and 10,000 endpoint devices, so when the college decided to implement new ERP (enterprise resource planning), LMS (learning management system) and student success platforms, Chief Information Officer Ken Libutti knew they’d need an iPaaS (integration platform as a service) platform for data integration and process automation across the ecosystem.

One Platform to Aggregate Data Across Hundreds of Applications

“We initially slated these implementations to happen over time, but because of delays they all came together at about the same time,” Libutti said. “We just went live with Workday Student as our new student information system, we’re going live with Canvas in the fall as our new learning management system, and we’re bringing on EAB as our student success management system – not to mention the myriad of other applications that we service the college with.”   

With these new systems in place, and hundreds more applications being used by the college, Libutti realized there was a real need to create a holistic view not just for administrative staff, but everyone, to be able to look at the data in use across applications and use that data to make informed decisions.

“We were looking to find a solution that allows us to get the relevant data needed to our stakeholders, while also presenting a user experience for students that makes sense,” Libutti said. “We also wanted to take a look at how we could relieve some of the day-to-day hands-on tasks we do through automation.”

We didn’t want to build a bunch of point-to-point integrations, rather we wanted to leverage iPaaS to manage all integrations to one data warehouse.

-Ken Libutti, Chief Information Officer

Connecting Workday Across the Ecosystem

One of the most important connectors for Palm Beach State, according to Libutti, has been the Workday connector available through TeamDynamix’s iPaaS tool.

“This was new for everyone, Workday is new in the student information space, so they were developing a lot of the product over the last couple of years,” Libutti said. “We’re fortunate to be one of the first large schools to go live on the Workday Student platform so it’s been an interesting experience.”  

Workday Student replaced Palm Beach State’s legacy ERP system that had been in place for 18 years. The college has several systems and utilities that use data from their SIS (student information system) to present things like course catalogs and directories. So one of the challenges was finding a way to get all of that data out of Workday and into a data warehouse.

“We wanted that data moved into a data warehouse so we could make use of it not only for analytics and reporting but also to be interfaced with these utilities,” Libutti said. “We didn’t want to build a bunch of point-to-point integrations between each application and utility, rather we wanted to build an integration to a data warehouse and build those integrations to the individual applications. This way, if an application changes we’re not having to rewrite 5 or 6 integration points, we just have to change the one.”

This is where iPaaS comes in. The Workday connector was built using Workday APIs. Libutti and his team use iPaaS to pull student and registration information from Workday and place it into a data warehouse. Within the warehouse, dashboards for student enrollment and student success measures are available.

"Having that single source of truth – knowing the data is in sync and valid – is our main focus and why we were so interested in investing in iPaaS.”

Providing Better Service for Continuing Education Students by Connecting Eventbrite with the LMS and RAVE

“We’ve been struggling as an institution on how to service our continuing education students,” Libutti said. “It’s an interesting program, with a menu type system – it’s like an Amazon shopping cart kind of experience. We offer photography workshops and law enforcement classes, and they all have different sections and time frames. Some classes are single sessions. There’s a lot of options”

To handle registration for these classes, Palm Beach State uses Eventbrite. The one problem, according to Libutti, is that people who enroll in these continuing education classes don’t need to be provisioned in the same way a student at the college needs to be, so they had to come up with a way to make Eventbrite work with their other systems.

“We needed to have the courses loaded into our learning management system, as well as make sure the people registered for these classes populated into RAVE,” he said. “RAVE is our mobile safety application, and we use it for a couple of things like emergency announcements, as well as communication to students in targets groups.”

Using iPaaS, Libutti and his team built a workflow that uses APIs from Eventbrite to pull the registration data for each person and place it into an SQL table. That data in the SQL is then used to provision the continuing education students and add them to RAVE, they are also added to Canvas. The result is a fantastic user experience for the students registering for these non-credit classes through Eventbrite, and a workflow that automates the access and information needed by the institution on the backend to properly create logins and access needed from Active Directory, as well as getting the information into RAVE for any communication needs.  

Getting a Holistic View of the Student Experience with iPaaS

Since purchasing iPaaS from TeamDynamix, the main focus for Libutti and his team has been data integration and transparency, “We’ve made sure that we can populate the data warehouse using iPaaS to get the data out of our different applications and systems, and use all of that data to populate the dashboards we’ve created for our administrative and executive staff,” he said.

But there’s also been a focus on what the user interface looks like for students and faculty as well.

“We want to present a single pane of glass to the students so they can really see what their education plan is, what their progress looks like, who their advisor is and what events are relevant to them if they’re in clubs or things like that,” Libutti said. “So we have several interfaces that we’re working on and trying to understand how we can pull those all together using iPaaS and our data warehouse.”

For Libutti and his team, they’re just scratching the surface of what they feel they can do with iPaaS.

“We want all the data to come into the data warehouse because we know TeamDynamix iPaaS can keep all those APIs in sync, which keeps the data in sync and it ensures we are doing the transforms that need to be done to the data,” Libutti said. “Having that single source of truth – knowing the data is in sync and valid – is our main focus and why we were so interested in investing in iPaaS.”

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