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How Universities Can Build No-Code Web Applications and Run More Efficiently

From staff shortages to declining enrollments to rising inflation, budgetary woes have hit higher education hard. Today’s colleges and universities are looking for ways they can optimize operations – while controlling costs.

One promising improvement is the automation of routine university processes. But despite the benefits of digitization, the prohibitive cost of designing, developing, and implementing workflow applications gives institutions pause. In an era of belt-tightening, they can’t afford a time-consuming, high-price-tag investment in enterprise software.

But there is a solution, and it’s simpler and more affordable than you might think. An effective platform for no-code application development can give departments across your campus a powerful new way to build the software they need, when they need it – quickly and cost-effectively.

Automating and Optimizing University Processes

A no-code tool enables non-technical employees to create software applications, workflow applications, webforms, online surveys, and more. Users simply drag and drop reusable software elements and workflow objects onto a virtual canvas. Behind the scenes, the no-code app builder assembles a fully functional, stable, and secure application.

Your employees can design user interfaces, map workflows, define form behaviors, enable data inputs, and generate reports without coding. There’s no requirement for lengthy application development cycles and it frees up critical IT resources.. Security is built-in, so there’s no need to worry about data privacy. And integration with popular third party platforms connects your no-code applications and workflows with existing systems and processes.

One powerful advantage of no-code application development is that it enables employees across departments to optimize their own operations. Workers can design workflows that meet their unique needs and share their applications and workflows with their colleagues. Other employees can readily adopt these streamlined processes.

Top Use Cases for No-code Tools in Higher Education

A no-code tool is especially well-suited to automating routine educational processes, including:

  • Admissions applications
  • Financial aid requests
  • Faculty on-boarding
  • Expense reporting
  • Procurement
  • Equipment requests and transfers
  • Attendance tracking
  • Teacher Feedback Forms

A no-code app builder can enable departments across your campus and remote sites to:

  • Empower education professionals to automate administrative workflows
  • Free up critical IT resources
  • Reduce or eliminate paper forms, data entry, and manual report creation
  • Identify workflow bottlenecks and obstacles slowing processes
  • Ensure compliance and visibility with notifications and approvals
  • Deliver faster, better services to internal teams and external customers

Achieving Real-world Results

Numerous institutions are already benefiting from no-code application development. The University of Portland turned to no-code to create web forms for use across campus. This enables various departments to meet their own needs for web forms and reporting while ensuring consistency throughout the institution.

No-code also supports a centralized data-collection system that both saves time and allows the university to maintain data and reporting standards. Users can even manipulate and view reports on the centralized data, leading to further process improvements.

Houston Community College (HCC) leveraged no-code to reduce paper use, avoid redundant workflows, and simplify processes. It had relied on more than 200 paper forms for routine tasks – some of which took weeks to complete. Taking advantage of a no-code tool, the college quickly digitized more than three-quarters of its paper forms.

No-code enabled HCC to automate budget adjustments, equipment transfers, part-time staff hires, and more. Users can now quickly enter form data, notify decision-makers, gather approvals, and track progress. Forms automatically integrate with core college systems and information, including demographic and financial data. No-code even enabled HCC to assess additional business processes and identify new places to eliminate bottlenecks.

The University of Tennessee at Martin faced the challenge of taking student ID photos and processing them during orientation. On move-in day, students had to line up at camera stations to have their photos taken, return hours later, and wait in line again for their new ID cards.

The university used a no-code platform to replace the manual process with a proactive, digitized workflow. Now, students can apply for their cards online in advance. They simply upload their photos, complete a few fields, and receive their ID cards in their orientation packets. Those who delay receive automated email reminders.

The university then applied no-code application development to create an enrollment wizard and form, a vaccination form, and a purchasing form. The web applications reside on the school’s servers, with workflows routed by email. They even integrate with e-signature software.

The Visalia Unified School District in California’s San Joaquin Valley uses a no-code tool to digitize a wide range of administrative procedures. The district is automating and accelerating routine tasks, from substitute-teacher requests to incident reports, that keep the school system running. Using its no-code platform, Visalia reduced labor and printing costs, improved record-keeping and reporting, and quickly achieved a positive return on investment.

With an effective no-code app builder, your institution can automate routine tasks, tangibly improve process efficiency, and cut down on busywork and manual errors. You can save costs while freeing up resources to focus on your core goal of delivering quality education to students.