About the Customer
Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) is a Christian liberal arts college. Its main campus is located on the Point Loma oceanfront in San Diego, California, United States. It was founded in 1902 as a Bible college by the Church of the Nazarene.
Scope and Challenges
Point Loma Nazarene University, a liberal arts establishment of some 4,000 students which has completed a Workday HR and financials project and is in the throes of implementing the student related functionality. Collaboration among colleagues is commonplace since PLNU has a strong basis of institutionalized trust among staff. While trust among team members is a critically important factor, making collaborative decisions about technology is difficult. Different constituencies have different needs which invariably drive different agendas. That is true even where, as, in this example, the business case for replacing a 30-year-old system is self-evident.
Workday HR and finance was the chosen solution.
Maria Zack, Ph.D. Professor and Chair Mathematical, Information and Computer Sciences and also the Chair of Physics and Engineering explained one of the problems it is solving.
Outcome and Implications
Equally though, PLNU needs to know whether students are likely to be successful or drop out. Zack says how they discovered factors that point towards retention rates.
"We had a research project running using multi-variant regression analysis to see if there are related factors that could point to retention issues. The degree to which students use the cafeteria and the choices they make popped as a significant factor. So having the ability to analyze in real time is an important win for us."
I consistently hear that education establishments are ‘going mobile’ and wondered how that element of the project has gone:
"We can see pay and benefits on mobile so when we’re thinking about adoption, those kinds of information help make the choices we made self-reinforcing because of people like what they see and find it easy to use. And on the back side, the configuration is pretty straightforward so yes, this works well."
It is important to know how Workday finance customers are getting on with Worktags because for PLNU this is one of the most important business value drivers. PLNU finance staff ‘get it’ and according to Fling:
"Worktags allow us to look at information in a multi-dimensional way and you already know that analytics is important to us so yes, the finance team and analytics people really like this idea."
"One of the fundamental pieces of our model is knowing how many students we admit. During our admissions process, we’re looking week by week into the funnel because we are continually building and adjusting the model for both income and expenditures. When we’re recruiting students in adult programs, for example, we need to know whether to adjust marketing or make personal contacts as we move students through the funnel. That has to happen pretty much in real time because as you can imagine, the situation changes frequently." -said Maria Zack, Ph.D. Professor and Chair Mathematical, Information and Computer Sciences and also the Chair of Physics and Engineering explained at Point Loma Nazarene University.
"We were able to get rid of that software that we identified as problematic during the selection process." -said Corey Fling, CIO at Point Loma Nazarene University.
"We’re about halfway through. We’ve hit the milestones we set for Workday and ourselves so we’ve been live on HR/payroll since the beginning of the year and live on financials since July. The work on the student will likely take another couple of years to fully finish – there are a lot of parts to that. We have technical backgrounds and operate inside the organization so we were able to work both the IT and business sides but you really need both sets of skills to hand." -said Maria Zack, Ph.D. Professor and Chair Mathematical, Information and Computer Sciences and also the Chair of Physics and Engineering explained at Point Loma Nazarene University.
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