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Analytics: The Catalyst for Change in Higher Education

  |   Alteryx   |   Sep 3, 2020

The idea of “change” and “higher ed” are not often synonymous; however, institutions throughout the world are facing an unprecedented era of disruption where innovating is not only an option, it’s a requirement.

To navigate this era of disruption, institutions must rethink their approach to data, people, and processes.

With Analytic Process Automation™ (APA), you can automate processes, enhance analysis, embed intelligent decisioning, and empower your institution to deliver actionable insights that improve your admission marketing yield, accelerate student retention, optimize net tuition revenue, and scale your mandatory reporting processes. The following institutions show you how.

According to a report by the EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research, 69% of post-secondary schools said analytics was a priority for “at least some departments, units or programs.”

Establishing a Culture of Analytics

An often-asked question from institutions is if we already need an established community driven by data for analytics to be successful. The answer is no, and don’t let that stop you from moving forward. Rather, let that be your north star as you scale access and resources to all and truly empower the end user.

According to EDUCAUSE, “… initiating an analytics program before a data philosophy of data-driven decision-making is ensconced may help establish that culture.”

Take the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). Their Institutional Research and Planning Office (IRPO) consolidates large volumes of data from various internal and external sources and provides analytics for senior management to better understand how the university is performing against key measures to help drive strategic decisions about how to effectively grow the institution.

By partnering with Alteryx, PolyU was able to get data into the hands of more users, resulting in less time spent on manual reporting processes and more time dedicated to exploring new solutions by more people.

“Long gone are the days where we must keep tens of Excel files opened and maneuver around endless pivots, lookups, and VBA scripts. The versatility and variety of tools that Alteryx offers has enabled us  focus on exploring and experimenting with our data. It has single-handedly transformed the data analytics culture in our team. We feel both empowered and humbled. Alteryx-ing data has now become our second nature!”

—Anson Wun, Senior Institutional Research Analyst, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Code Free. Code Friendly.

APA platforms (like the Alteryx APA Platform™) are human-centered, designed for citizen access rather than requiring the skills of highly-trained specialists or depending on IT.

Get Out of Spreadsheet Hell

Declining enrollments, increased competition, new ways of learning, greater demand to prove value, and reduced funding are forcing colleges and universities to disrupt the status quo.

This particularly holds true for admissions and recruitment departments across the world who are tasked with attracting and converting the best and the brightest at breakneck speed.

For the admissions department at Indiana University Online, the analysis of a prospective applicant to a submitted application would take many hours using disparate, manual-based processes. In today’s competitive environment, they needed to spend more time focused on what really mattered — learner recruitment — and less time in spreadsheet hell.

As a result of its partnership with Alteryx, the analysis of the applicant-to-application process went from hours to minutes, enabling the university to hone their recruitment targeting and improve marketing yield.

“I have peace of mind knowing that some simple, yet critical tasks can be done easily. With Alteryx,
also don’t have to learn (and relearn) how to manipulate data within multiple platforms. Leveraging our  Alteryx expertise, we can pull Student Information System, Salesforce CRM, Canvas LMS, Google Analytics, or other vendor-related data into one place and analyze it using one tool. We continue to find new ways to use Alteryx to automate tasks and make us more productive.”

— Sharon Wavle, Associate Director, Decision Support & Reporting, Indiana University Online

Insights at the Speed of Now

At Deakin University, understanding the student and prospect experience is critical to addressing any barriers in real time. While the university has multiple sources of data, without the ability to bring it together, it was nearly impossible to create a unified picture in a timely manner (we’re talking more than a week to prepare the data and follow-up) for actionable insights.

With Alteryx, Deakin was able to automate their analysis process, including pulling data from multiple systems, cleansing it, formatting it, and outputting it to their CRM system for a follow-up push into the CRM. Not only did it reduce the time to contact customers from a week to 24 hours, it also changed the way the team worked. Instead of a campaign-style marketing approach, the university developed an always-on marketing approach where they realized a 21% marketing conversion-rate improvement.

“It took substantially less time — I think it was roughly 25 days less time — to develop the solution in Alteryx compared to the old way of working.”

—Chris Logie, Manager of Marketing Analytics, Deakin University



Take a deeper dive into how these universities are using APA to automate analytics and data science, optimize processes, and empower people.


Get the Essential Guide to Analytic Process Automation.

The ability for institutions to thrive in a strong economy and stay resilient in a rapidly-changing environment is defined by their ability to improve revenue and the bottom line, optimize process efficiency, and level up the entire workforce to harness data and analytics as a strategic asset that drives business outcomes. Analytic Process Automation transforms your business outcomes and workforce by enabling anyone in your organization to easily share data, automate analytic processes, and turn insights into results.