3 ways to embrace the data-driven future of higher education

Adopting a data-driven culture may just be the catalyst that your institution needs to spur your digital transformation efforts. With higher education institutions having more information on hand now than ever before, leveraging that data can give you the advantage you need to meet the demands of a digital world.

However, institutions need to adopt tools and processes to properly leverage data, or they could just as easily become buried under a flood of information without context.

Behind the current push for a data-driven culture is the idea that data unlocks insights into your processes and operations that may not be immediately apparent. In a data-driven culture, decisions are made based on factual, verifiable information, and the impact of process improvements can be measured in real-time. Data tells us about the capacities we can build to become high-performing institutions, but it can be especially challenging if your institution is not adaptive to new technology.

With the right tech solution, you can use data to help your institution remain viable in the current digital era — by improving institutional efficiency and transforming the student experience. This includes the way you operate, interact and make decisions on important institutional goals like increasing student enrollment, boosting student retention and improving student success rates.

While most leading institutions employ various strategies to tackle their digital challenges, there is no single strategy that works for everyone. However, most successful digital transformation initiatives include:

  • Adopting technology and digital solutions that make capturing data simple and ensure accuracy and accessibility
  • Integrating the student information system with content services to make data easily accessible throughout the processes you support
  • Applying data analytics tools to monitor student progress and success
  • Enhancing service touchpoints with predictive analytics
  • Incorporating continuous improvement into your processes and analytics

At the core of all these strategies is … data.

3 steps to leveraging data in a digital world

Nurturing a data-driven culture is not easy, but it is a critical differentiator in an increasingly competitive and digital higher-education landscape. There are several potential barriers your institution might face: inability to extract data, lack of high-quality data, limited access to data and siloed data on disparate systems.

To leverage your data in a more strategic and practical way, here are three steps to help you get started:

1. Use intelligent capture technology

Any data-centric strategy begins with the capture of clean and accurate data. However, information continuously enters higher education institutions in large volumes and in various formats, making data capture a manual and error-prone process. With intelligent capture capabilities, you extract, classify and validate incoming information, and turn it into actionable data, all while reducing the burden on staff.

By automating data capture, institutions may accurately pull information from any source and feed it into a content services solution that integrates seamlessly with core systems like your ERP, SIS and CRM. This allows users to easily access updated information from any system.

2. Apply automation and data analytics capabilities

Analytics and automation are the building blocks of digital transformation initiatives. However, for your reporting and analytics solutions to provide value, processes must be seamless with automation and analytics capabilities. By applying process automation, institutions can design digital processes that reduce workflow effort and process cycle time while simultaneously capturing each step of the process for ongoing refinement and improvement.

With capture and workflow automation technology, your institution can streamline processes, expedite approvals and provide visibility into workflows through interactive dashboards. Combine that with data mining and predictive analytics capabilities, and you can track and identify potential issues – be it process breakdowns, low enrollment or student drop-out rates – and take corrective actions early, giving you the power to change potential outcomes to your advantage.

3. Leverage a single platform for campus-wide solutions

All captured data is automatically routed to the relevant student files and stored in a centralized platform. This enables users to have a 360-degree view of student information and access real-time data anytime, anywhere.

With an easily configurable point-and-click platform, you also provide secure access to authorized users, while ensuring compliance via audit trails across departments campus-wide. This empowers staff to focus on students, instead of worrying about compliance or searching for the information they need.

The digital path to success

A data-driven culture paves the way for your institution to truly transform into a modern digital campus. By embracing technology, you give staff a complete view of the student record and provide students with the modern experience they’re looking for.

To learn more about how your institution can easily leverage data insights, download our ebook Unlocking the value of content: A strategic guide to campus transformation.

Michele Allen is Hyland's global program manager for government and higher education.
Michele Allen

Michele Allen

Michele Allen is Hyland’s global program manager for government and higher education.

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