At Synermetric we are great fans of transparency and the sharing of knowledge. It governs how we run our business inside and out. It's why we strive to work in partnership with our clients, and why we release our eBooks full of expert articles for free. In the 'Behind the scenes' series we aim to give you a clear view into how our company operates and the founding principles that guide our decisions.
In this second installment, we call on Product Manager Ruth Gibson once again to give us an overview of Synermetric's integration services: what they are, why they exist, and how they can make your life easier.
What is an integration?
An ‘integration’ is the act of bringing together smaller components into a single system that functions as one. It refers to the end result of a process that aims to stitch together different, often disparate, subsystems so that the data contained in each becomes part of a system that quickly and easily shares data when needed (Rouse, 2015). At Synermetric we refer to integrations as projects that use one or more assessments where the client requires a connected, streamlined reporting system.
How do you integrate assessments?
To integrate assessments the products involved need to have an API (Application Program Interface) available. An API is a set of routine protocols and tools for building software applications. The API specifies how software components (in this case the assessments and reports) should interact. It provides the building blocks, and our programmers put the blocks together in a way that meets our client’s needs. Theoretically, we can integrate any two systems so long as they both have an API, although projects vary in complexity.
What types of integrations do you create?
We develop the following types of integrations:
We can bring together the data from multiple assessments to create a new, unified report. For example, if a development process uses a personality assessment with a strengths assessment and an ability test, rather than having three reports for coaches and individuals to go through, we can create one new report which integrates the outputs from the numerous assessments. This allows a person to be presented with one informative output rather than a number of different reports to sift through for relevant details. We can also integrate any assessment structured by competencies with our action planning and goal setting platform Propel, which drives behaviour change after an assessment has been completed.
Custom dashboards are used to streamline assessment processes; for example, to monitor and track candidates through assessments they are taking as part of a selection process. Many selection processes rely on multiple assessments to provide a more complete, holistic picture of a candidate. However, while the benefits of gaining a more informed perspective are clear, this means that the person running the assessment administration must log in to a number of different systems to be able to track candidates within the process. This takes time and creates a lack of clarity and opportunities for people to fall through the cracks. By unifying these assessments in a dashboard, administrators can view and manage participants from one location.
Web portals are a platform created to house all of the information for a particular programme, such as the programme’s plan and schedule, support literature and other resources, and any assessments that form part of the programme. They can support forum-style information sharing pages, scheduling systems for coaching appointments, and confidential platforms for feedback. This is extremely beneficial as it means that participating individuals have one place to go for all information, learning materials, assessments, and updates for the programme.
Do you only offer integrations with the products within your catalogue?
No, we are happy to offer integrations with any assessments. A key requirement is that the assessment has an API available, or that the developer of the assessment is willing to create one for the particular project.
Can you provide an example of an integration project you have worked on?
We developed a web portal for a large scale leadership development programme. The client came to us with a brief that they wanted a portal to house all of the information about the programme, including general information, the timetable of activities taking place, workshop dates and a booking system, module information, key learning materials, and support contact information. They were also using a number of assessments within the programme including a 360-degree feedback assessment and a personality assessment. They wanted these to be integrated into the web portal so that programme participants would be able to take the assessments directly from the portal, and once complete, be able to book a coaching session via the portal. All this had be branded according to the company guidelines.
The web portal we created streamlined and simplified their processes, and all the delegates knew that they could find all relevant information about the programme and activities via this single sign-in platform.
So how would I start an integration project?
You can have anything from an initial idea that you want to talk through to a more developed requirement. Whichever stage in the process, once you come to us we will help and support you to scope out your ideas and to create the most appropriate solution for your specific needs.
Rouse, M (2015). Integration definition. Tech Target. http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/definition/integration
As Business Psychologist and Product Manager at Synermetric Ltd, Ruth Gibson uses her passion for psychology, assessments, and people development to curate a powerful and complementary range of psychometric assessments and tools. She develops Synermetric’s relationships with leading authors, and provides clients with training and advice on how to utilise their tools for optimum effect.
Do you have more questions about integrations? Suggestions for useful combinations, or interested in how you could integrate your processes? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to ask Ruth directly.