Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Funnelback platform delivered on everything we wanted from a search engine and more.

Sara Pertz, CVTC

The Organisation

Part of the Wisconsin Technical College System, Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), serves an 11- county area and approximately 13,000 students every year. CVTC is one of 16 WTCS colleges located throughout the state. The College’s largest campus is located in Eau Claire with major regional centers in Chippewa Falls, Menomonie, Neillsville, and River Falls. CVTC offers a wide variety of programs, certificates, and apprenticeships ranging from Accounting, to Farm Operation, to Welding.

Key Project Objectives

CVTC approached our solution partner High Monkey in the Fall of 2016 with a problem: the search function on their website was highly technical and therefore very difficult to manage. A primary goal of this project was to create and focus on a user-friendly interface and easily modifiable search results. They also needed High Monkey to effectively integrate Funnelback into their existing Kentico Content Management System while retaining all functionality of Funnelback. Their end-goal was to improve the CVTC website's search results and provide valuable analytics across the site while improving the overall user experience of search.

Challenges and Objectives

The Solution

High Monkey provided a solution approach that addressed all of CVTC's search needs that included the following steps:

  • Build using Kentico API to push content into Funnelback
  • Create custom Kentico CMS web part to pull in Funnelback search page and its functionality
  • Set up of auditing system to monitor content
  • Modify existing search results
  • Create custom metadata fields to create facet navigations to filter and narrow down search results

The old search platform for our public website was difficult for our Marketing staff to use and required a high level of technical ability to control the search results. Knowing we were struggling with our current system, High Monkey suggested Funnelback. This platform delivered on everything we wanted from a search engine and more. It provides a user-friendly marketing console allowing our team to quickly and easily modify search results, full flexibility in configuration and customization of search collections, and, as an added bonus, a robust accessibility check which will allow us to improve the content and convenience of our sites.

From setting up the original demonstrations to organizing the Funnelback trainings, High Monkey was fantastic to work with. Having worked with them on several other projects, they were familiar with our systems and frustrations, and could provide solutions tailored to our needs. The integration was seamless between our Kentico9 environment and Funnelback. High Monkey’s team worked with our Digital Marketing team to ensure all elements were configured properly and the launch went smoothly.

Since launching Funnelback on our public website, we have been able to make several changes and refinements to our results for optimal user experience. We are planning on configuring another collection for a supporting CVTC website and, through the excellent training by High Monkey and Funnelback, feel fully equipped to deploy this next phase of the project. We are excited to continue to improve upon the user experience of our Funnelback service and utilize the software on more of our web applications.”

Sara PertzDigital Marketing Manager, Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Result

Kentico Integration

To integrate Funnelback with Kentico’s Content Management System, High Monkey’s team developed custom web parts to crawl the necessary content and display search results on the CVTC website, www.cvtc.edu

Custom Response

The custom response web part allows data stored in the Kentico database as pages to be output as XML or JSON REST API Feeds. Unlike the out-of-the-box Kentico REST API, these custom feeds integrate with additional metadata schemes setup in the CMS which when delivered can provide search visitors with a much richer contextual navigation process. Each deployed webpart can be configured to provide a specific set of data based on the types of content used in the creation of the CVTC website pages.

Search Display

The search display web part pulls in the search results from the Funnelback system based on visitor searches. This integration allows for full utilization of the comprehensive results display templating from Funnelback while seamlessly displaying in the Kentico website.

About High Monkey

High Monkey helps organizations use existing and new technologies wisely, designing and implementing websites that are unique, distinct, and creative. They simplify complex information systems and make them easier to use, always putting content first.

High Monkey has an extensive background configuring and customizing search, creating content strategies, and delivering search results that are logically organized, intuitive, and user friendly.

Funnelback is proud to partner with High Monkey and to be the core technology at the heart of High Monkey's successful search strategy.