Top 5 Tips to Competitiveness in Higher Education
Good data and advanced analytics are the keys to responsive and informed decision making.
Australian tertiary educations are larger than ever and competing on the international stage with several ranking in the world’s top educational institutions. International students on student visas are increasing and education is Australia’s largest service export.
As an international commodity Australian institutes must compete not only with each other for students, staff and funding but also with international tertiary institutions. They must be adept at commercial practices more related to those of corporate businesses. There are now many issues that will be business critical for universities if they are to be sustainable and maintain a competitive edge. Resolving these issues will demand a focus on the best use of advance customer analytics.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How should our courses be priced to grow our market, and remain competitive and profitable against competition?
- How can we attract the right level of students to our university?
- Which courses should we run in the future to attract the best students and meet their needs?
- How can we maintain quality in our teaching and research staff?
- How can we attract students who have the best chance of completing their courses?
- How can we help students to complete their courses?
These (and many more) questions may seem hard to answer – so where to start?
The place to start must be in your organisation’s own data and analytics capabilities.
You know analytics makes your data valuable. As always, gaining commercial benefit from data depends on a process of carefully formulating business questions that can be addressed by large data sets and more advanced analytics. This includes taking action on the insights gained, monitoring return on investment, and revising procedures for continuous improvement.
The process is not new – in fact it is a tried and tested managerial approach. Even so, our experience shows many organisations are unsure how to make their data and analytics work for them. Many feel they are being left behind in the race to get ahead and many also feel paralysed by the range of choices and the speed of change.
Top 5 Tips to Competitive in Higher Education
- 1. Plan for a robust data repository that can start delivering benefits very quickly by providing quality, reliable data to support all decisions and processes in the institution. This should also align all the objectives of all different areas of the institution to the same end goal.
- 2. Create reliable reports and processes to measure profitability of each course and which will enable pricing to be set at the optimum levels.
- 3. Plan for funding changes. Create processes to ensure a quality service is provided for students and that detect those in trouble so they can be assisted to completion. i.e. effectively manage the ‘No completion, No funding’ issue.
- 4. Budget and plan for future student load. Be able to easily and reliably analyse past trends in attracting students and conversion rates from application to enrolment.
- 5. Set up processes to capture and use data to optimise marketing efforts that proactively attract the right students for your organization. Also, be able to monitor changing attitudes to your, and your competitors’ different offerings by different student groups and respond to these accordingly.
Over the coming weeks, we will address each of these top tips in more detail. Next week we will look at the optimal planning of your organisation’s data repository.
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