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Robert BochnakRobert Bochnak, Social Media Strategist – Harvard Business School Office of Alumni Relations, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2019 Higher Ed Analytics Conference.

In this 3-question interview, Robert 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?

In 2019, I believe higher education institutions will take an even closer look at how they track impact on social media channels generally and Instagram more specifically due to its increased popularity.

This will provide some challenges, though, since proving the ROI of social media is difficult and something I grapple with every day. How do we know, for example, what role social media plays in alumni giving or in prospects deciding to attend a particular college or university? More to the point, is this something we can even really know?

Over the year ahead, I hope to take a closer look at this issue and see if I can draw any causal relationship between my work and alumni engagement (i.e., donations, event attendance, etc.)

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

First, get the best sense of what you can measure through automated means and what needs to be a manual process. For example, I track web clicks through Spredfast, a scheduling and analytics platform, but gather all my alumni engagement data manually (I haven’t found an acceptable automated tool yet).

This takes some time since we’re averaging more than 4,000 alumni interactions a month on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Second, determine what you need to measure and what’s the best way to share this data. For my work, alumni interactions/engagement is by far the most important metric, so I not only track this information, but share it with my superiors in a number of ways.

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?

I try to experiment with new approaches all the time, collect the necessary data, and then report on it. A recent example is our “Photo of the Week.” Since we have so much great photo content, I wanted to find ways to involve alumni beyond their “likes” on Instagram and Facebook. So, every other Thursday, we ask alumni to vote for their favorite photo, collect their responses and then share the winning photo via video the next day.

Once I collect the data, I share it with my superiors and we then discuss the merits of pursuing similar projects in the future. This “Photo of the Week, specifically, generated 50+ alumni votes/comments on Instagram and Facebook and the video was viewed more than 400 times.

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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