Case Study: Berklee (Education)

Berklee College of Music builds app in 1 week.

Berklee College of Music is the world’s leading college of contemporary music. Its undergraduate program attracts top talent from across the globe, and as such, the application and interview process is exceptionally rigorous and thorough. Doug Bennett, Berklee’s Director of Admission Operations, and his staff needed a system that could help them manage the application, interview, and audition processes, and work within their proven practices to find top talent.


Challenge

Berklee’s staff and faculty travel to more than 60 locations around the world to ensure they find the best and brightest talent. The Board of Admission keeps thorough data on their applicants and their current student population in order to recruit an increasingly qualified and diverse class for each entering semester. They track the number of applicants, how far along each applicant is in the process, their geographical location, their skill set, their major, and other background information.

Doug and his colleagues were frustrated with the speed and capabilities for filtering through applicants and managing all aspects of the application process. The staff had to continuously write new or modify existing reports during the review process in order to get to very detailed information they needed. This process generally took up to 30 minutes to refine data that was constantly changing.

The team also struggled with the steep learning curve that came with their user interface. Before moving to Salesforce®, Doug’s team did most of their business in a custom database built in Filemaker. After they implemented Salesforce, Doug quickly realized that his users spent too much time clicking around. He saw an opportunity to increase productivity by eliminating clicks with a streamlined experience—built to order around their unique processes. They needed a solution that could be integrated and adopted quickly.

“The pace of change here moves rapidly and we needed a platform where we could respond quickly to end user needs and constantly shifting data,” said Doug.

Solutions

Within a week, Doug and his team built a bespoke application with Skuid that manages their entire admission process. Using Skuid filters, they created a dynamic data filtering system that connects to their Salesforce org and replaces the need to run tedious and time consuming reports.

With the dynamic filtering system, they are able to schedule auditions for more than 9,000 applicants in 60 locations across the globe in a simple and efficient way. The admissions staff is able to filter applicants according to their location and automatically schedule the applicant based on both parties’ availability. The app uses a unique Skuid component called a drawer, allowing the user to see any additional information about a particular applicant in one user-friendly screen. This removes the need for users to bounce back and forth between different screens and subsequently reduces the risk of compromising data integrity and efficiency.

Results

The new and improved interface powered by Skuid allows Doug and his team to meet the high standards defined by the school’s comprehensive enrollment plan in a seamless and efficient way.

With the new filtering system, Berklee’s admissions officers can see the exact data they need for a specific audition and interview in just a matter of seconds. This easy access to real-time data allows them to make informed decisions based on how many applicants from a certain demographic or skill set have been admitted, how many have been put into the wait list, how many have been denied, etc.

The Admissions Office saves significant amounts of time with the new system. Rather than running time-consuming reports for each individual admissions counselor, each counselor can now see the information they need immediately, in one page. This saves Doug and his colleagues an estimated 30 minutes per person per day. With over 12 admission staff, this saves a collective 1,560 hours throughout the year. Additionally, after switching from their previous system, the time required to train new users decreased from four weeks to just over one week.

Doug saved months of development time by using Skuid models instead of having to write code to connect to his data, but he also gained a significant amount of flexibility to continually improve the system according to the staff’s needs. “We love the flexibility that models and model conditions give Skuid developers.” Doug says. “Add in the features available with the actions framework and the possibilities are endless.”

 

“We love the flexibility that models and model conditions give Skuid developers… the possibilities are endless.”

Doug Bennett, Director of Admission Operations, Berklee College of Music