7 considerations for building a SEM analytics reporting porfolio

by Wendy Kilgore, AACRAO Director of Research and Managing Consultant

The understanding of the importance of access to and use of data for enrollment management efforts has been around for a few decades.  What has changed more recently is institutions now create and have access to vast quantities and variety of data as well as new analytic tools.   Data is now used by institutions to understand the past and “plan for student success in the future.”

Consider these emerging trends in data management and other concepts aimed at helping institutions develop a SEM-focused analytic model:

  • The “new normal” in postsecondary education postsecondary education includes “(a) new demands for accountability, efficiency, and effectiveness, (b) greater transparency, (c) shared services, and (d) more competition.”
  • Key to the effective use of data is having personnel with not only analytical skills but a broad understanding of enrollment management and reliable access to clean, well-defined data sources.
  • Information governance is the construction of a data dictionary are both time consuming but necessary for successful analytics.
  • Data analytics begins with strategic questions.
  • Findings should be displayed in a manner that is meaningful and compelling to the audience.
  • A comprehensive reporting portfolio consists of strategic and tactical reports mirroring the student progression pipeline. Each part of the enrollment funnel identifies a “component set” of reports.
  • SEM leaders use visual analytics to “more broadly share new understandings about factors impacting current and future student enrollment levels, while also emphasizing the key performance indicators highlighted in the traditional enrollment funnel analysis.

These ideas are explored further in the article Building a SEM Analytics Reporting Portfolio in SEMQ, Vol. 4, Number 1, 2016 co-authored by me, Jay Goff and Brian Williams.  Sign in to access the full article. 

For more in-depth exploration of SEM analytics and other topics, register for AACRAO SEM 2016, meeting this November in San Antonio.