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Joshua DodsonJoshua Dodson, Vice President of Marketing & Innovation – VisionPoint Marketing, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2019 Higher Ed Analytics Conference.

In this 3-question interview, Tiffany shares with us thoughts on what’s next for higher ed analytics in 2019, advice to get more strategic with measurement and tips to make analytics reports more efficient

1) What will make a big difference for higher ed analytics and measurement in 2019? Where do you plan to focus your analytics efforts?

Downstream analytics — connecting marketing sources not just to inquiries but also to applications and enrollments — is going to play an increasingly important role in 2019. Some schools have started implementing that type of analysis, but many more still need to focus on this area. This bigger approach to data is going to make the largest difference in how a school makes smart decisions about where to focus their enrollment marketing efforts. It is good to track leads and inquiries, of course, but it is possible to make much more strategic decisions if you can see the full downstream impact of your marketing efforts and determine what will make the biggest impact on your enrollment goals at different points in your marketing funnel.

2) What’s your advice to adopt a more strategic approach to analytics and performance measurement?

Start with the end in mind. Know what areas you need to impact and make sure you truly have your measurement capabilities specifically set up to measure them. Real strategy informs both what to do and what not to do. A good strategy involves making choices and determining the guiding principles that inform the tactics you choose. The point of analytics is not the measurement itself, but rather the measurement in service of making the best decisions to lead to the best outcome. Your measurement approach must support that.

3) Analyzing the data and unearthing analytics insights is half the battle. What are your top tips to present/share analytics reports that drive action?

Know your audience. Don’t get stuck in the weeds — share the data your audience cares about. It won’t always be the same. If you are sharing information with other analysts, it is appropriate to get into the nitty-gritty analytics. However, that is typically not the case when you are presenting data to key decision makers. A Vice President, for instance, usually wants to know the bottom line: How do the numbers lead to the institution’s goals? Make sure you get to the point quickly. I find it helpful to have the specific details in an appendix or somewhere nearby in case more detailed questions come up.

Also, don’t expect your audience to always know what questions to ask. It is important to guide the discussion so that you can provide the data they care most about before they even ask for it. That is a big part of the analyst’s role — anticipating questions and knowing what the audience needs to know. If you immediately start out talking about bounce rate, you have already lost them. Build your story and translate the message into what is important for them.

A conference focusing on higher ed analytics?

The 2019 Higher Ed Analytics Conference (#HEA19) is a must-attend event for higher ed marketing professionals and teams looking for inspiration, ideas and best practices to step up their analytics and measurement game in 2019..

Read below what your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Analytics Conference said about their experience.

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