Colleges and universities have earned reputations for capturing student information for admission and then storing it within silos that inhibit its access and communication, which of course is what makes it so valuable.
At Auburn University, as at other universities, admissions applications are processed by two separate departments, an office of undergraduate admissions and the Graduate School. The unfortunate result until recently was that the online accounting programs offered through the School of Accountancy in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business struggled with efficiencies and analysis of data.
Salesforce, the widely-used customer relationship management (CRM) platform, has proved to be the ideal solution for the increased challenges associated with managing the data needed to grow the online accounting programs and all the graduate online programs offered by the College. Working with the student information system through a nightly automatic import, online admissions are now captured in one centralized place. By adding in the supplemental application information that was maintained by the School of Accountancy, the Admissions Committee is able to use a more holistic approach when evaluating prospective students for the five different online accounting programs.
Without Salesforce, the data collection process for accreditation reports, rankings, and surveys would take weeks, if not months, due to the siloed data from disjointed, non-integrated systems maintained by different departments on campus. In addition, the Harbert College of Business struggled with the differing data definitions provided by accrediting bodies compared to colleges on the rest of the campus. For example, the data stored in Salesforce was able to match the information requested by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), unlike the data that was centrally stored in the Office of Institutional Research, resulting in more accurate and expedited reporting. Now, with the streamlined admissions process and centralized data storage, information can be pulled in a matter of minutes.
Using Salesforce to manage this data not only provides the most successful path for prospective students, but has also resulted in a measurable increase in the caliber of students admitted into the Harbert College of Business programs.
Andee Hodo, Assistant Director of Online Programs in the School of Accountancy, and Lori Sewell, Data Scientist / Salesforce Administrator for the Harbert College of Business will have the opportunity to share the challenges they faced and the relief that Salesforce provided at the annual Salesforce conference, Dreamforce. Dreamforce held in San Francisco November 6-9, 2017 is the largest CRM-driven conference annually. With over 120,0000 attendees and 2,700+ breakout sessions, Dreamforce is the premier CRM conference where pioneers gather to share their experience with CRM innovation.