Business Intelligence Solutions for Higher Education

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( — January 7, 2021) — Most people are aware of the existence of business intelligence (BI) and may have a rudimentary understanding of its benefits. Irrespective of sector or business size, BI can contribute to improved productivity, output, cost effectiveness and profitability.

But there are some sectors and business areas that continue to overlook the potential advantages of business intelligence. According to the market research specialists at LISTedTECH, one of these is the higher education sector.

Business Intelligence Solutions for Higher Education

The higher education sector is as complex and challenging to negotiate as it is ferociously competitive. Providing a top-quality educational experience in an efficient and cost-effective manner represents a constant battle for millions of providers at home and abroad.

Increasingly, higher education providers are seeking bespoke business intelligence solutions to enable them to build a competitive edge. But what’s often overlooked is how the benefits of business intelligence for education are by no means limited to those running the businesses and collecting the profits.

When business intelligence is adopted efficiently to enhance the performance of a higher education provider, everybody wins – students, faculty and the owners of the business alike.

Vast Data Complexity

The sheer volume and complexity of data that must be collected, stored, processed, accessed and managed in a single higher education setting is quite phenomenal. Typical examples of which include data related to enrolment, information on how students’ progress in their courses, results of exams and coursework assignments, outcomes after graduation and so on.

Traditionally, higher education organizations have had little choice but to utilize a series of separate systems to collect and store this information. Collation and analysis of the data from multiple systems would subsequently consume excessive time, manpower and resources in general.

With business intelligence software, higher education institutions are able to collect, manage and analyze data in an exponentially more streamlined and efficient way. BI also simplifies the process of understanding the data collected and using it as the basis for strategic decision-making.

Acceleration of Sluggish Processes

Time is money across all sectors – higher education being no exception to the rule. The conventional approach to essential administrative processes in higher education has a tendency to be painfully slow. Accommodation allocation, student enrolment processes, the verification and release of exam results – all way more time consuming than they need to be.

Not to mention, compounded by the fact that a surprising proportion of higher education institutions still use the outdated paper-based approach with much of their essential admin.

This is where the implementation of a bespoke business intelligence solution can work, accelerating many essential operations dramatically. Technology is increasingly being used to simplify bureaucratic processes and reduce the need for middlemen, which again when incorporated successfully benefits everyone.

Inefficient Recruitment

Another area in which business intelligence can help is in the efficiency of recruitment and admissions. Rather than simply storing data on past recruitment drives and related activities, business intelligence provides responsive and intelligent data insights for continuous performance improvement. 

Admissions volumes, key demographic and geographic information, responsiveness and general recruitment trends – all making it easier to boost the effectiveness of subsequent recruitment drives to attract the right applicants more quickly and efficiently.

The Risk of Human Error

One potential threat to efficiency, accuracy and overall performance that can never be entirely eliminated is the risk of human error. However, instances of human error can be reduced dramatically by minimizing the involvement of human administrative teams and manual administrative processes in general.

At any point where a human member of the workforce performs an administrative task, there is the potential for human error. Where such administrative tasks are replaced with an effective business intelligence solution, the risk of human error is reduced significantly. All with the added bonus of streamlining, simplifying and accelerating a wide variety of complex and time-consuming processes.

Student Retention

Lastly, higher education institutions that take student retention seriously could benefit enormously from strategic business intelligence. A direct reflection of the performance of the faculty and the owners of the business, student retention is something that has to be worked for proactively.

With business intelligence, key information in relation to student retention can be effectively and efficiently collected, stored, accessed and analyzed. Where potential issues with student retention and/or satisfaction arise, they can be investigated and addressed more confidently and effectively.

Rather than simply accepting a gradual decline in retention or a sudden spike in student drop-outs, business intelligence provides the insights needed to do something about it.