Downton, Downtime, and Data??

Carnegie Higher Ed Feb 13, 2013 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

I have been hearing a lot about the TV show Downton Abbey over the last two years. It sounds like a good show and everyone keeps telling me I would enjoy it, yet I haven’t had time to watch a single episode. I keep saying to myself, “I’ll get to Downton when I have some downtime,” but when I do have a little free time in my schedule, it quickly gets filled by something else, and Downton remains on my to-do list.

Given the cyclical nature of admission and marketing work, I am used to this sort of thing. And so are you. I am sure there are many days during heavy recruitment and marketing times when your to-do list keeps growing and you think you’ll be able to get to things in a few weeks when there is some downtime. But then you don’t. We all have those things on our to-do lists that for one reason or another never come off. Maybe for the lucky few they are just less-important tasks, but I suspect that for many of us they are the things that we don’t really enjoy doing or the tasks where we are not exactly sure where to start . . .

Data is one of those things.

We all know data is good and that making decisions based on data is best, but for some reason, critically examining data is one of those to-do items that often remains on the list. And in the case of many smaller schools and programs, this happens because research really isn’t part of any one person’s job description.

So where do you start? As you sit and wait for the commitments and deposits to start rolling in, do a few simple things. Look at the applications you received and the acceptances you mailed and map those to your visits and fairs. If you are already doing this, then you are ahead of the game and it’s time to dig a little deeper into your data. How about your Google analytics: Do you have access to this information? Are you able to analyze your website traffic? Have you examined your e-mail marketing campaigns to understand where and when you get your best click-throughs?

And if you don’t have time to tackle it on your own, we can help you make sense of it all—from how your PC&U leads performed to why a student accepted or declined admission to what your website traffic is telling you.

So call us and we can help you out . . . and perhaps when you do I’ll be able to discuss last night’s Downton Abbey.

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