Shared data enhances the entire student lifecycle

Insights - Sharing data to enhance the student lifecycle

Key takeaways 

  • Institutions must shift to a culture of data stewardship instead of siloed data ownership 
  • Decentralized systems and practices are a major roadblock to effective data sharing 
  • Modern reporting and data management tools represent breakthroughs for institutions 

Two critical concerns for higher education continue to be effectively managing declining enrollments and maintaining financial stability. The need to attract, enroll, and support students remains a top priority, as does the necessity of fostering a lifelong relationship with alumni. 

Obtaining better data is a key strategic initiative for colleges and universities that want to more fully engage with prospects, students, and alumni throughout the entire student lifecycle. However, despite the increasing amount of data being generated, many administrative and academic departments remain entrenched in their silos. 

Departments frequently develop practices for responsible data ownership and access rights, but generally do not invest in efforts to understand the data needs of colleagues who work in another silo, resulting in the following challenges: 

  • Resistance to change and lack of trust among units, fostering a culture of data ownership rather than stewardship 
  • Decentralized data systems and practices, as well as an under-utilization of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system as the official system of record, preventing easy access to role-based data for decision-making 
  • Lack of effective reporting and constituent relationship management (CRM) for higher education tools to collect, analyze, and report data so the right people get the right information at the right time 

For each stage of the student lifecycle, this white paper contains examples of innovative practices of engagement, ideas for effectively sharing data outside of the historical silo, and key questions to consider for enhancing the transition from one stage to the next. 


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