You likely have heaps of data at your institution. Managing the quality of that data and then making sense of it is a huge job. With lots of data across an institution but limited time for teams to compile it, cleanse it and analyse it, we often hear university marketing, recruitment and admissions teams tell us that they struggle to access all of the insights they’d like to inform their strategies. As you prioritise your data requirements, ensure the following make the cut.
Track the time it takes for prospective students to make it from their first interaction with your institution through to enrolment and how this varies by country. Having a strong sense for pipeline length will give you greater visibility into when you can expect to see enrolments come in.
You may find longer pipelines than you’d expect. Take the example pipeline assessment below from UniQuest’s client dashboards, for instance. The graph shows the initial enquiry date (by month) for students who went on the get an offer split by those who didn’t enrol (offer holders) and those who did ultimately enrol. In the graph, the X-axis represents date of first enquiry at Example University for the September 2016 intake. Enquiries from students who ultimately enrolled start to come in steadily from April 2015. Whilst the number of enquiries resulting in offers peaked between January and March 2016, this was not reflected with a real increase in enrolments. The likelihood of students who enquire after May enrolling for that intake are small. In this case, Example University should focus on increasing the pool of students 12 – 18 months before the intake.
Understanding pipeline trends also informs your communications plans. For example, prospective students from countries where you see longer pipelines will require more nurturing along the student journey to keep the interest in your institution warm. Identifying markets with longer pipelines will allow you to focus communication plans strategically.
Over time, you’ll be able to assess how pipelines are changing. Are they getting longer or shorter? Are your campaigns in certain regions accelerating students’ progress to enrolment?
Decision-making in real-time
Decision-making data is powerful for the obvious reasons — understanding what drives students to enrol at your university (and what steers them away) allows you to focus your messaging on the qualities of your University that matter most to your prospective students.
Collecting and reviewing this data in real-time means you can hone your approach as needed in enough time to make an impact on your enrolments in your current recruitment cycle.
You likely have a good sense for your competition today, but it’s good to keep an eye out for any shifts. Changes to the global and local higher education landscape could shake up your competitor pool. Maintaining a strong knowledge of your competitor mix will ensure you’re differentiating your University appropriately.
Feel free to contact us to have a chat about all the types of data our clients track and how it’s informing their recruitment strategies.