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Understanding HEDA and What It Means for Higher Education

By May 18, 2016

By: James Davidson, Vice President of Community Solutions at 7Summits

The Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA) creates a standard Salesforce data model for higher education. In this blog I would like to breakdown what HEDA means for new, existing and planned implementations on Salesforce and share how 7Summits plans to leverage HEDA.

HEDA Overview

HEDA is designed as’s core data architecture across a diverse range of student journeys, providing colleges and universities with the solid foundational data components necessary to cultivate an engaged student experience by delivering a framework that promotes growth, innovation, and interoperability.

What are the benefits?

As an SI and solution provider we are often involved in implementing Salesforce for new and existing customers. New customers spend a lot of time getting their arms around their requirements, including existing data, use cases and how it maps to Salesforce. And some existing customers have each developed their own custom approach to managing CRM data in Salesforce that isn’t designed or built with expansion, scalability and interoperability with other solutions mind. HEDA goes a long way to providing new and existing customers a better starting point a better way to standardize their data. In summary HEDA will:

  • Allow institutions to achieve the Connected Campus vision by representing constituents across the student journey, from prospect to alumni and beyond
  • Establish a supported framework for growth and innovation by Salesforce partners and customers
  • Accelerate deployment time with prebuilt objects and functionality
  • Reduce configuration and implement with confidence
  • Create 360-degree views of constituents with greater ease
  • Achieve interoperability between apps and a common language for collaboration in the Higher Ed industry

What’s in HEDA

HEDA is focused on Core and Common relationship data across the student lifecycle. HEDA includes objects and functionality designed to represent the totality of a student’s relationship to the institution, from relationships with individuals to affiliations with departments and student groups to connections with academic programs of study and courses. This includes:

  • Contact to Contact relationship management
  • Multiple primary account affiliations
  • Address and communication preference management
  • Courses, Terms, and Academic Programs
  • Managed Trigger Integration
  • HEDA REST and Global Methods API

The following video does a great job to introduce HEDA:

How 7Summits plans to leverage HEDA

Our VP of Product Architecture Shoby Abdi shares his thoughts “HEDA is a great offering that has come out of HEDA is going to provide us, as an SI and ISV provider to higher ed institutions, the ability to standardize on a data model that many other SIs and ISVs will be on as well. The ability to accelerate our customers data needs using a unified and agreed upon solution is a true game changer for many of our developers and architects”. Salesforce is enabling the vision of the “Connected Campus” by placing the student at the center of everything you do, and achieving breakthrough performance across the student lifecycle. 7Summits, in partnership with the, offers implementation services and community solutions like CoreConnect for Higher Ed throughout the student lifecycle that address student recruitment, retention, onboarding and advancement and marketing that are compatible with HEDA.

Admissions Community

Our innovative solutions have been engineered to address longstanding gaps and challenges throughout the student journey. Salesforce cloud-based products and HEDA enable colleges and universities the flexibility to target these processes that align with their specific goals and budget. If you’re interested in knowing more, watch our “Building on HEDA with EnrollmentRx and 7Summits” webinar.

Additional Helpful Links: