9 Ways to Collect and Prepare Your Data with a Long-Term Vision

Whenever I sit down at the bar near campus, people are always asking me (not really), “What’s my university’s best path to BI bliss, especially if I’m not particularly far down the road?” Higher education are unique organizations, with ties to government funding, a fundraising component, grants and financial aid.

Then, there is the entire student body element of data, including tuition, scheduling, student performance, etc. The amount of data is immense. The hurdles are daunting. The silver lining is that so is the upside of utilizing data analytics. The good news is, I’ve jotted a few things down on some cocktail napkins.

I liken the adoption of Business Intelligence to savings in a 401K. Just start. Put something in your 401K. At least put in enough to get all the benefits from your employer’s match.  Know that starting as early as possible is just as, if not more, important than how much you invest at any one time. You simply have more time to reap benefits the earlier you start.

The same holds true with your BI investment journey. Just start. It doesn’t cost anything but time to start thinking about a plan. It doesn’t cost anything but a phone call to chat with an expert to get some thoughts on your environment and where might be a good place to start.

If you do nothing but have a plan and therefore alter what (and how much) data you collect, you’re just that much more ahead of the game. If you’re not collecting some of the data you need for a year over year KPI trend you’d like to track, the sooner you start collecting the data, the closer you are to tracking that trend.

Data analysis is here to stay.  In fact, some liken the move to data utilization similarly to the advent of the internet. To ignore it is to seal one’s own fate. It’s going to happen, and your competitors are doing it, or about to start. And make no mistake, with high school graduates set to diminish by 10% due to fewer births and lower immigration rates, it is indeed a competitive marketplace.

Eighty-one percent of universities have invested in technology for the benefit of students. Forty-one percent are using data for forecasting and predictive, yet only 29% are using it for operating decisions. There’s also the challenges of disparate colleges, decision-makers and CMS products within a university system. But, with so many institutions realizing quick ROI, a great case for BI can be made. One recent report showed that universities could increase profits by $1M annually, if they could increase student retention.

So, there is no better time to get ahead of the curve in analytics. The sooner you take the leap, the sooner you’ll reach your BI destination. Here’s a basic outline of how you can do it.

Read More

Read more about our Higher Education solutions

Discover why Kingfisher should be your BI partner in education
Read More