Andrew Drinkwater

FME is a wonderful tool to support colleges and universities in their digital transformation journey – here’s why:

Empower your users to troubleshoot visually

In education, lots of our system integrations are handwritten code bases that we’ve lived with for 10 or more years. FME, with its intuitive visual interface, allows business professionals, like those who work in the Registrar’s office, to diagnose data issues and develop solutions quickly. At the FME User Conference, I have the pleasure to co-present with Jessica Maitland of Douglas College to talk about some of these very issues. In our presentation, we talked about how we worked with her team to seamlessly develop registration time slots for Banner, saving her staff huge amounts of manual effort. Building the time slot process visually helped uncover areas for improvement and how the college could better serve its learners. In the future, we hope to support learners who change programs during the registration cycle, to ensure that they are routed to the appropriate timeslot.

Free up overburdened IT staff

I’ve yet to meet IT professionals who don’t want to help. Instead, often their efforts are curtailed due to being overworked and overwhelmed. The consequence of these constraints mean they are often unable to help in the way that they wish they could.

A visual data integration tool empowers the business users who know your data best to truly design data processes that meet their needs, allowing your IT specialists to focus on building out major initiatives, managing security, and being facilitators rather than gatekeepers.

Solve operational challenges at speed

Building data workflows visually allow your team to quickly and easily recycle, adapt, and modify your data flows to best meet your needs.

Although I’m a grizzled old code veteran at this point, every time I need to interact with one or multiple systems, I use visual tools like FME. It’s so much easier to review my own work and annotate it to help others.

For example, the Degree Works Scribe application uses a specialized language to allow users to create the building blocks used by the Degree Works Audit Engine to display program requirements

The example Psychiatric Nursing program has nearly 200 lines of plain text scribing outlining its requirements.

Using FME, we were able to pick apart this code and find the relevant number of credits to graduate for this program. This feeds into wider government reporting processes.