How Kaplan Test Prep Integrated Large Datasets and Siloed Apps with SnapLogic
By Scott Behles
When your business is data and you’ve accumulated it for a century, getting past data silos and disconnected applications and systems can seem nearly impossible. There comes a point in every organization where the ability to connect and glean insights from all the data your business is generating is a make it or break it point.
This is where century-old Kaplan Test Prep found themselves. The global educational services company helps millions of students master skills to advance their careers through offering more than 100 standardized tests. The goal? To provide programs and services for students to help them succeed in high-stakes admissions and licenseship exams including the SAT, GMAT, USMLE, BAR review, and more.
With the millions of students and professionals relying on Kaplan, using big data to identify areas to innovate and transform their business was increasingly challenging. Kaplan provides its employees the autonomy and freedom to be creative and use any technology that solves their needs, but this resulted in a technology strain. The business accumulated hundreds of disparate applications that stored data in different locations and formats, preventing IT and business teams from having a single version of truth or a flexible architecture.
Bringing it all together
“We accumulated a large amount of data across all of our domains and we needed to figure out how to bring it all together and harmonize it,” said Tapan Parekh, Director of Engineering and Architecture at Kaplan. At first, they forged integrations using a data virtualization technology along with a couple of off-the-shelf products, all of which required an exorbitant amount of time to derive the insights needed.
Kaplan decided to look for a modern, easy to use integration platform as a service (iPaaS) that could help them obtain data on student performance, customer issues, product usage, and corporate financials. They also wanted a partner that would complement and support their digital transformation journey and big data strategy. They chose SnapLogic.
“SnapLogic is a flexible, easy to use, visually appealing tool. And best of all, it complies with our company’s security standards and policies,” said Parekh. “Over the years, SnapLogic has helped us integrate data seamlessly from our current legacy systems with minimal effort and time, which helped us increase productivity, and propelled us to do more self-service.”
By utilizing SnapLogic, Kaplan Test Prep has been able to derive insights that have empowered them to uncover opportunities and improve the quality of their products and services, such as:
- Reduced time to create data reports from 4 weeks to 3 days
- Ingested 50+ applications rapidly into their AWS data lake
- Enriched data reporting to fuel innovation in products and services
- Created an enterprise-standard technology connecting systems across the business
Additionally, industry watchers like Constellation Research took notice. The independent analyst firm published an in-depth case study detailing how Kaplan Test Prep successfully deployed the SnapLogic integration platform to move data from dozens of apps and data sources into a cloud-based data lake, reducing time to value from weeks to days and enriching data reporting to fuel product and service innovation, all while saving the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We are now able to gather real-time student feedback, undertake analysis, and tap into data profiling, which empowers our end users, and prepares us for building a product platform that helps millions of students across various channels, devices, and locations,” said Parekh. “SnapLogic helped transition our IT organization from a service provider to a partner in decision making.”
Managing dynamic, complex big datasets can be daunting but as Kaplan has proven, with an iPaaS like SnapLogic, integrating data and extracting powerful insights from it can be done with speed and ease.