Types of key performance indicators your school needs to track to gauge current success and how to reach its goals


Key performance indicators (KPIs) can make or break your college or university. Every institution must identify the measurable results that lead to success in order to understand its performance. Yet, the sheer volume of KPIs available can make it tough to distinguish which ones will help your school reach its goals and stand out from the competition. 



Top 4 KPIs for higher education


Higher ed is an industry unlike any other, so you need to tailor your KPIs to collect relevant data and obtain actionable insights from it. Then, with data and insights in hand, you can explore ways to make your school a top choice for students. 


Here are four types of KPIs colleges and universities need to track:


1. Financial


Assess the costs associated with your school’s day-to-day operations. Find out how much you are paying staff, program and department budgets, and tuition costs. Additionally, examine financial aid, grant, and administrative cost data. 


Financial data can be complex and overwhelming, but you need to use this information to understand your school’s spending. Once you obtain financial data, you may uncover ways to save money. You may also find ways to reallocate finances and get the most value out of the funds at your disposal. 


2. Student success


Learn as much as possible about student performance at all levels. Find out how students perform in different courses across all your departments and if they stay the course and graduate on schedule. Evaluate the results of students after they graduate, too — because it helps to know how students are performing after they receive a certificate or degree from your school. 


Student success rates can have far-flung effects on your ability to attract new students, so you must track these KPIs diligently. In doing so, you can discover new ways to engage students and help them do their best now and after they graduate. 


3. Admissions and enrollments


Look beyond the number of students who enroll in your school’s programs annually. In addition to student enrollment, evaluate acceptance, retention, and transfer rates. Also, collect data relating to student acceptance by location and marketing campaigns used to target students around the world. 


Admissions and enrollments data can paint a picture of your school’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of generating interest from a diverse group of students. For instance, if you find your school primarily enrolls students from certain portions of the United States, it may want to revamp its marketing strategy. Or, if you find students are transferring out of your school, you may want to explore ways to bolster student retention.  


4. Faculty and staff


Check the pulse of your faculty and staff. Use KPIs to determine if they are happy with their wages and feel supported in their everyday work. Retrieve data to help you understand if your school is more prone to employ full- or part-time personnel, faculty and staff turnover, and the ratio of students to faculty. 


Your faculty and staff are difference-makers, and they need to be treated fairly. To attract and retain top faculty and staff, you can use data to identify improvement areas and do your part to transform any weaknesses into strengths. You can also leverage data to learn about your faculty and staff and show you will do what it takes to fulfill their expectations. 


3 Ways to use KPIs to your advantage


It can be challenging to get started with KPIs, but there are things you can do to streamline this process, such as:


1. Establish goals


Rome wasn’t built in a day, and much in the same vein, your school should not expect to maximize the value of its KPIs right away. Once you determine which KPIs to use, look at the data that is already available and start to collect data to fill in any gaps. You can then establish a baseline and, eventually, build goals. Next, you can work toward achieving your goals and continuing to build new ones over time. 


2. Be strategic


You dictate the value of your KPIs, and you should be strategic in how you use them. Create processes and systems to help collect data you can leverage to gather insights and determine how well your school is performing. Software is available that can make it simple to collect and evaluate a broad assortment of data. You can even use software to automate data measurement and management. 


3. Remain consistent


Tracking and evaluating KPIs is an ongoing process, and you need to remain on track. If you monitor KPIs and produce regular reports, you’ll be able to see your institution’s true performance. Use that information to drive continuous improvement that will make your school a great choice for students today, tomorrow, and into the future. 


Ready to understand your real web performance? KWALL can help.


KPIs provide specific, measurable goals to work towards during any website redesign or digital development process. Good KPIs help support a user-centered design approach that will help transform your website into an engaging, user-friendly destination where visitors can learn about your college and university and see why it’s the right choice for them. 


At KWALL, we help higher education institutions design and develop exceptional websites. Our expertise is comprehensive, and we can help you customize your site however you choose. Plus, we monitor the success of your site and ensure it delivers your desired results.


We are here to help improve your website in any way we can. Contact KWALL today for a free site audit to see where your institution could raise the bar on its digital experience. 


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