With the new academic year just weeks away, higher and further education establishments need accurate, data-driven insights into the quality and performance of their new enrolments in order to track their attendance, progress and ensure maximum retention. But when colleges and universities are struggling to understand a reduction in enrolments or class attendance rates, do they ever stop to think that it could be down to simple as a lack of tailored marketing or a cancelled bus route? Geomapping technology is proving to be the solution.
Data visualisation tools like dashboards are designed to bring transparency to the educational marketplace. They provide an easy, innovative and practical way to help further and higher education establishments to refine and better manage their courses in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching. In addition to providing the ability to examine admissions information visually, BI (Business Intelligence) provides the tools to represent applicant and student data on interactive maps. Geomapping produces new insights into demographic, enrolment and retention data and has the ability to quickly spot real time opportunities to improve processes, performance and revenue generation.
By using geographic visualisation colleges can see, in real-time, precisely which areas students are coming from. The geographical mapping tool also enables colleges to place students on the right courses at the correct campuses while ensuring that the departments, staff and even classrooms, have the capacity to accept them. If not, they can determine the need to put on extra courses, or indeed cancel a course should it not be attracting sufficient interest.
Geomapping also enables college’s admissions teams to see, at-a-glance, which other colleges and universities in their local and regional networks are up against. This enables them to align its schemes, programmes, marketing and investments in the most important areas to ‘fill the gaps’ and ensure the best possible take-up of places. This enables colleges and universities to deliver on demonstrated need, rather than predictions.
The dashboard highlights those students who are chronically absent—identifying who they are and showing where they’re located on a map. After reviewing the real-time data and/or report from a dashboard, the attendance officer can determine which areas have the highest chronically absent students and accurately predict the number of student dropouts accurately for an academic year, enabling the department to intervene at the right time to help reduce it.
On a wider scale, geographical mapping also enables those colleges and universities with a large number of overseas students to track enrolment trends, status information, visa applications and CAS information through a single set of integrated dashboard reports, with the ability to drill down to underlying detailed information. It also ensures that marketing spend can be focused on the right locations abroad, based on where the students are coming from.
With a sharpened focus on attrition, retention and graduation, colleges and universities are looking for more effective ways to support student success. Even for institutions focused on retention, putting effective programmes in place is difficult, this is where geomapping can prove invaluable.