Southern New Hampshire University

Integrating systems to increase retention

Challenge

Delivering real-time data

Results
  • Streamline system integrations
  • Real-time data updates
  • Personalized student advising

Southern New Hampshire University invests in Ellucian Ethos to personalize advising

Toby Carroll, Director of Development and Integrations, Southern New Hampshire University

As we started to purchase new software systems and more sophisticated software systems, and connecting those systems together, we were actually running out of hours in the day. Because how we were doing it was we were taking flat files, and picking them up, and shifting them over. Those flat files take time to generate and to run. And by the time you were done moving all of the data, you have run out of your 24 hours.

So we knew in order to be more innovative, we had to be more creative in our integration space and deliver data more real-time. When you have a change in one system, it will reflect throughout all of your systems. And it makes for a better student experience, a better staff and faculty experience, and for better and stronger decision-making.

Ethos decouples data from software

We learned about Ethos probably two or three years ago, maybe longer. And we learned about the pub-sub model, and we learned about the data model. And the data model is what probably was the most attractive piece. So effectively, what this allows you to do is decouple data from software. And once you can decouple data from software, that means you've opened up a whole world of possibilities to be able to lift, and shift, and move various elements of that data around, regardless of what that software system is.

The financial benefits of integration

I no longer have to build an integration for first name, last name, address every time we bring in a new piece of software. It's done. Now, I just have to connect it. And that's really, for my team, on the small and the micro scale, is where we're going to see the financial benefit.

On the bigger scale, when you have real-time integrations, the financial benefit you're going to see is in retention, right? So if we can get to those students faster with the right data at the right time, we can save them for leaving or help them through any struggles that they have by being able to alert the advisors from no matter where that problem is happening throughout the system, whether it's a bill is late, or if there's an issue with grades, or they missed a class, or haven't logged into their LMS system. That all goes to the advisor. It's that personal touch. That advisor calls the student to say, “Is everything OK? How can we help you?” And that's really where we are going to see the value of that retention.