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Rapid Insight: Higher Education case study

Streamlining Student Registration Reports at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology

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  • Organized and prioritized registration assistance for incoming students

  • Equipped Student Service Team with up-to-date metrics and task lists

  • Freed up staff time by automating data comparisons to update every hour

Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) is a private non-profit college offering affordable education for people seeking technical careers. BFIT’s educational programs are typically 4 semesters or fewer, so it is critical for students to enroll in the right classes (and in the right order) to ensure that they graduate on time. As such, BFIT’s Student Services department directly assists every student through the course registration process.

The Challenge

In BFIT’s standard registration process, each member of the admissions team obtained lists from various departments, gathering data on every new student’s progress through the admissions funnel. 

After a staff member manually compared the lists, they manually constructed lists for each Student Services staff member of students deemed ‘Ready to Register.’ The staff member then individually emailed the lists to each corresponding Student Services staff member for outreach regarding course registration. The manual lift of comparing multiple reports meant this list was only updated once or twice a week.

BFIT sought to streamline the registration process, and appointed Amanda Marstaller, the Director of Institutional Reporting, to find efficiencies.

The Solution

Step 1: Building datasets in Construct

Marstaller’s first step was to use Rapid Insight Construct (an automated data preparation tool) to compile comprehensive, purpose-built datasets. At this stage, Marstaller sought to identify and cleanse the data the Student Services team needed to see in order to prioritize their outreach.

Marstaller compiled relevant data from Salesforce, CAMS, and PowerFaids. Using Construct, she cleansed and prepared the data to ensure its cleanliness and accuracy. 

Marstaller produced several datasets, including:

  • Accepted Student Detail, for informing Admissions staff of a student’s progress from acceptance to registration
  • Ready to Register, for Student Services staff to use when onboarding and registering students who have completed initial steps with admissions, financial aid, and student accounts
  • Registered, Not Ready, providing Admissions staff with a list of student records that do not meet the benchmarks required for registration, but who had been registered regardless, indicating the records likely required cleanup or data entry

Step 2: Sharing Dashboards in Rapid Insight Bridge

After creating the datasets, Marstaller’s next step was to put the information in the Student Service department’s hands.

To distribute the information, Marstaller used Rapid Insight Bridge: a tool that allows users to access and customize data dashboards over the cloud. The dashboards drew from Marstaller’s datasets to display relevant data to each Student Service team member. 

The new data access system made it easy for department leaders to assign work based on caseload. Instead of receiving an email once or twice a week with a list of students to contact for registration, the advisors could consult their custom dashboards in Bridge and obtain an updated list of students to contact for registration. The efficient list includes pertinent registration data and each student’s contact information.

Step 3: Refining and Educating

When Marstaller checked in with the Student Services team to see how the reports fared, she discovered that the majority of the team found great benefit from the dashboards. However, several team members weren’t finding utility in the dashboards and had stopped using them.

Upon investigation, Marstaller discovered that inconsistent data entry protocols in several departments were to blame. The data entry issues meant that some of the information in the dashboards did not accurately update.

Marstaller seized the opportunity to educate the staff on how to properly follow the college’s data entry procedures. Just as importantly, the scenario allowed Marstaller to demonstrate why consistent data entry matters. 

Customer Testimonial

Once staff members saw the value of the Bridge dashboard method I proposed, it was easy to get buy-in on future projects. It is now a common request: ‘Can we get this in Bridge?

Amanda Marstaller, Director of Institutional Reporting, Benjamin Franklin Institution of Technology

With the data entry issues corrected, Marstallers data sharing system served its full purpose, offering the Student Services team the data they needed to prioritize their work.

BFIT Campus

Looking to the Future

BFIT recently expanded the number of users equipped to access the datasets, allowing more users to create dashboards for an even greater range of applications.

Customer Testimonial

Bridge access has been in high demand on our campus for some time,” Marstaller said. “We are in the midst of onboarding additional users.

Amanda Marstaller, Director of Institutional Reporting, Benjamin Franklin Institution of Technology

Before Bridge, users had to access datasets in Excel. Bridge allows these users to manipulate the data more easily, and to filter and create custom dashboards to suit their individual needs.

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