CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In the increasingly competitive world of college recruiting, data is gold. The more you know about prospective students and their families and the more efficiently you can use that information, the better your chance of building relationships that lead to your school being their first choice.
Bryan Lester and his colleagues at the Sage Colleges were nearly overwhelmed with data, so much so that they weren't able to take advantage of everything they knew about the students they were trying to recruit. But thanks to a powerful CRM system from TargetX and data integration provided by Informatica -- all via the "cloud" -- Sage is doing a better job of communicating with prospects.
"Data imports and integration are among the biggest challenges we face," said Lester, who is Director of Enrollment Information & Admission Processing for the Sage Colleges in New York. A primary example, he said, is the so-called "Common App," the undergraduate admission application that students can use to apply to Sage and hundreds of other colleges and universities.
The Common App collects enormous amounts of data about prospective students, including important personal information like extracurricular activities, which can be used to communicate on a more customized basis. It also gathers parent contact information for schools that want to reach out to the families of prospects.
"But to input all that data into our SIS [Student Information System] was extremely time consuming," said Lester, "so we previously omitted such things as extracurricular interests and parent email addresses. Now we're able to enter everything quickly and efficiently. One result is, we're planning an email campaign aimed at parents, something we haven't been able to do before."
The key to Sage's more effective use of data is TargetX's Student Recruitment Manager®, a cloud-based customer relationship management system designed specifically for college admissions offices. The SRM® is built on the proven Force.com platform of Salesforce.com, the worldwide leader in on-demand CRM and a pioneer in cloud computing. The result is the most powerful, mobile and customizable recruiting tool in higher education.
Last year, TargetX partnered with Informatica Corporation, the number one independent supplier of data integration software, to provide its clients with a cloud-based, user-friendly solution for handling data. More recently, TargetX created pre-configured file mappings to make it easy for schools like Sage to import data from the most popular sources of information on college-bound students, including SAT, ACT, NRCCUA, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and the Student Search Service, as well as the Common App.
In addition to creating an easier and more reliable process for importing and exporting data, the TargetX and Informatica partnership also provided Lester with an immediate return-on-investment in terms of efficiency.
"We lost one of our staff members for more than a month during one of our busiest data processing times of the year," he explained. "But we didn't suffer at all thanks to the increased automation provided by the SRM. We were able to keep up with the demand and didn't miss a beat."
The partnership with Informatica has enhanced the value of the SRM, said TargetX CEO Brian Wm. Niles. "Informatica Cloud puts significantly greater information, much more easily, at the fingertips of college recruiters. And while we deliver standard mappings for popular file formats such as SAT and GRE test-takers, we also provide the ability for schools themselves to quickly and easily modify their integration at any time to meet their specific needs."
TargetX is the leading student-recruiting firm serving higher education. It offers both technology tools and consulting services designed to help colleges recruit today's more sophisticated, web-savvy students. Founded in 1998 on the belief that colleges need to change the way they communicate with prospects and their families, TargetX has been a forward-thinking leader in managing change in higher education and embracing the concept of the experience in higher ed marketing. More recently, TargetX launched an Education & Training Center (ETC) where admissions professionals can collaborate and brainstorm with colleagues and thought leaders through coursework and office retreats.
To learn more, visit www.targetx.com
A private educational institution, Sage enrolls more than 3,000 students in Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral programs at the coeducational undergraduate Sage College of Albany in Albany, NY; the undergraduate Russell Sage College for women in Troy, NY; and the graduate-level School of Education, School of Health Sciences and School of Management, with programs on both campuses. Together, they are known as the Sage Colleges. Interdisciplinary academics, community engagement, international exposure, and artistic and athletic endeavors are among the pillars of the educational experience at the Sage Colleges. Sage ranks among the top 50 "Best Regional Universities" in the North, according to U.S. News & World Report.
For more information, visit www.sage.edu