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Recruiting Intelligence

Having Data ≠ Using Data Part 2

Last week’s blog post helped define the data use problem (find Part 1 here). This week, taking us further into what to do about it.

Trust us, you’re not the only team whose data is not living up to its potential. It’s fairly common within teams and business units. It’s an issue of lack of time and/or lack of skills, but a problem worth solving. 

Because, without well-played data, your team is making decisions based on gut reactions and are more likely to participate in group think. That route is often poorly informed and heavily biased. Data informs and confirms. 

Data also drives curiosity. When your brain (or your team) has one of those aha! moments based on data, it craves more. New  market opportunities start to unveil themselves. New approaches to doing the work (operations) emerge. Prospective student enrollment pain-points will become more apparent – and the ramifications of leaving those pain points unresolved. 

Sure, data won’t solve these problems – that’s up to you – but it will help ensure the problems you’re solving are the ones worth pursuing. Data should be the foundation to most of the decisions you make.

Now, we don’t want to overstate it. Data is not magic (though what our data gurus pull out of the hat can feel like it!). It’s simply math. It’s what you do with that math – that’s the magic.  And that’s why every team needs access to digestible data and why self-service data analytics should be a priority for you. It certainly is for us.

This week we offer a process for helping you do just that. It’s a practical 5-step approach that starts with goal-setting and collaboration. Read on.

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Having Data ≠ Using Data Part 1

You only thought you were using data to make smart decisions.

Understanding how to use data to support institutional planning and growth requires talents and skills that are learned and practiced and honed over time. All these tech companies selling tools and platforms into our systems want leadership to believe that all is simple, clear, and that their dashboards will transform your operational planning and decision making. Wondrous growth is just a click or two ahead. If only.

You’ve tried to create a self-serve data buffet for your leadership team so that they can dive in on their own and make informed decisions.

But…what if they’re not?

We mean, you gave your full team access to the tools with loads of features and data reporting. In the realm of marketing, your CRM captures and reports on email open rates, click through rates, conversion rates, and so much more. Your marketing dashboard tools pull data from Facebook’s Business Manager and Google Analytics (with updates to GA4 that your team is scrambling to implement and fine tune as you read this).

We all want to eke every last drop of data from the platforms available to us now.

Truth is, in the battle of data informed decisions vs human nature, human nature usually wins. Reality: creating, viewing, and understanding reports is not as simple as the tech vendors tell you it is.

Many of your leadership team are simply not data people. They may grab some of the data that supports their ideas, but ignore relevant data that would add more insight, nuance, or might even negate their suppositions.

What we have seen over the last decade is that many organizations are assuming their team’s new access to data dashboards and tools will naturally result in effective use of those tools. Often leaders simply don’t prioritize learning the necessary bells and whistles in the midst of other important deadlines. Still others can’t wrap their heads around it. They have other skills that your institution values and data analysis/interpretation is simply not one of them.

Simple test: Your marketing dashboard provides you with your email open rate monthly average. Among your other standard emails last month, on the 10th your team sent a mass email to a newly purchased, cold email list. What is worth reporting on to your leadership team? How can the data available inform your decisions and actions?

Read on to learn more about what self-service data is, why it can be useful, and how to actually make it work for you. (Oh, and we answer the question about the email open rates).

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Innovation in Education: Conversing with Codecademy [podcast]

In our ongoing effort to expose our readers to innovative educational models, we'd like to share this podcast with Nikhil Abraham from Codecademy, the leader in online coding education. Codecademy's model shakes the foundation of traditional education. What is the future of new educational models? How will Codecademy affect traditional modes of education?

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Canada's Competitive Advantage


At Intead Insights we consistently analyze the global competition for qualified, tuition-paying international students.

Canada is a successful contender in this global competition. The recently published report A World of Learning: Canada’s Performance and Potential in International Education demonstrates the Canadian determination to become an even strong player in this arena. The report provides a critical analysis of international student satisfaction with their experience in Canada. It also looks at the perceptions of discrimination international students feel in Canada. Finally, the report develops a set of recommendations on how to address the issues discussed.

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Topics: Insights

Agent Barometer Reveals: Top 3 Steps to Improving Your Competitive Advantage

This has been a momentous year for universities interested in using commission-based recruiting agents. The NACAC decision seems to have lifted a black cloud from many institutions and we know of many that are actively establishing or expanding agent relationships to enhance enrollment capabilities in international markets.

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Topics: Insights

Can Data Advance an Education Culture? Can Social Media?

We are not policy makers at INTEAD but hands-on practitioners helping universities compete for the right students in a global marketplace. And we are passionate about the importance and role of education in all of our international societies--the empirical data clearly shows that education is key to improving the lives of individuals and societies as a whole.

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Topics: Insights

Tie Your Message to Your Audience: Using Chinese Social Media

Social Media use in China is important and relevant for U.S. universities recruiting students in China. If you are a regular reader of Intead Insights or our blogs, you will not be surprised by this message. Hanover Research published a concise and very readable summary, "Social Media and Web Marketing in China," reviewing the main social media platforms in China and incorporating compiled research highlights from Zinch, WES, The Guardian Network, the College Board and other sources.

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Topics: Insights

The Storm Front on the Horizon: Coursera By The Numbers

Today's Intead Insight may appear like an advertisement for Coursera. It's not. It just looks that way because the figures from Coursera are remarkable. They have grown from two courses to 532 courses within 24 months. From one university partner to 107. Let us just say, BAM!

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Topics: Insights

Analyzing Recruiting Costs: You Can't Find These #s in the US

International student enrollment is becoming an important part of tuition revenue management in many universities. The revenue side is obviously only one part of the equation and it matters how much it will cost the admissions department to recruit the international student cohort. In the United States, we have seen very little publicly available data to benchmark international recruitment costs. So we trekked to Australian to see if our colleagues there could give us a little bit of guidance on benchmarking our expenses to recruit internationally.

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Topics: Insights

6 Digital Consumer Trends University's Need to Understand

Universities are constantly on the cusp of behavior changes since their young undergraduate applicants include a larger percentage of early adopters of technology than the overall population. Even graduate applicants and the non-traditional students are made up of large groups of digital natives. This reality will have an impact how universities recruit and teach students and stay in touch with alumni. Those willing to make an investment in the very near term will quickly outpace the competition. Let us explain...

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Topics: Insights
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