What is unique about the Higher Education Data Exchange Standards approach?

Past approaches to higher education data standards have often been more limiting then their promise of openness.  To avoid these challenges, Noodle Partners and IData focused on developing standards that acknowledged some key facts in higher education:  Not every institution is the same, not every vendor is the same, and data needs evolve.  It is clear that both vendors and institutions need a balance of standards with flexibility.   The HEDEX Standards strike this balance in multiple ways:

  • The standards are focused on the data first. Clear data definitions and functional transaction requirements are at the core of the standards.  The technical protocols offer more flexibility.
  • Each standard includes the ability to support configurable options to account for known differences in business rules and technical architecture preferences.
  • Each standard includes the ability to add extended data to any object in the data exchange. For instance, an admissions application can have client-specific custom fields attached to the applicant, the application, the test scores, the academic history, or any other object.   Supporting custom fields while maintaining support for standard data is non-negotiable requirement.
  • Each standard supports multiple protocol options. The data is the critical part, the method of handing off that data can, and should, be flexible.   Not all vendors can exchange data in the same way.  The Noodle Education Data Integration Standards focusses on the data content, but allows for a variety of web-service or flat-file protocol options.
  • When vendors are unable to build connectors, to the Noodle Education Data Integration Standards, the IDataHub solution can build custom connectors to map to a specific vendor own API’s. If the data exists, and the vendor can make it available in any way, the platform can work to get it mapped in to the standard processing.