TouchNet outlines four things for card offices and higher ed administrators to prepare for in the months ahead
In a recent article by TouchNet president Adam McDonald, four trends impacting higher education administrators in 2024 were highlighted. Among the four was “understanding your data and how to use it.”
Recently, EDUCAUSE reported that institutions are beginning to progress in their approach to data. They suggest that the key now is, “converting data analytics into action plans to power institutional performance, enhance operational efficiency, and improve student success.”
McDonald agrees, noting that data cultures are maturing at many institutions as administrators recognize data as critical to outcomes and revenue.
“They are hard at work to generate insights that help refine processes and policies, improve the student experience, save time and effort for staff, and potentially increase revenue while decreasing costs for the institution,” he says.
Data cultures are maturing at many institutions as administrators recognize data as critical to outcomes and revenue
Data is created by the various campus activities such as door access, class and event attendance, transportation usage, purchases, and more. This data can be used for a wide range of purposes, from assessing space utilization in campus buildings to piecing together the life of students to better understand and serve their needs.
In a separate piece, TouchNet highlights that the discussion typically focuses on service improvements, like analyzing the busiest dining hall times to adjust staffing and food production levels.
“But ID system data also provides information on a larger scale, such as the hourly and daily use of buildings, rooms, and other spaces on campus,” the report notes. “Administrators can look at this data when making decisions on whether to maintain, renovate, lease, or possibly sell a space on campus.”
When it comes to collecting, analyzing, and putting data to use, an institution’s approach will vary based on its size, infrastructure, and type of institution.
McDonald stresses that the key is to get started, and the ID card system is a key piece of the puzzle.
“Work with your committee of campus stakeholders to develop goals, strategies, and tactics to enhance your institution through data-informed decisions,” he says.
Three other trends highlighted for 2024, include the continued rise of mobile technology, the barrage of new regulations, and attempts to address the ongoing staff turnover on campus.