How Good Data Can Help You Identify and Refine Admissions Practices 2: Electric Boogaloo
Welcome back to another exciting adventure into the jungle of data collection and business practices. In my last post, I talked about how good data collection policies can clue you in to potential opportunities to increase the efficiency of admissions staff processes based on a time-of-day analysis. In this post, I’m going to examine how analyzing the same types of data by day-of-week and month can also provide some important insight when looking to create more efficient processes.
Seven schools were evaluated when looking at how the day of the week impacts transfer percentages. The chart below shows the results:
WHOA! That’s a ton of numbers. Here’s a graph of those numbers.
Naturally transfer rates for inquiries received over the weekend are not nearly as strong as those received during the week. That’s to be expected. However, those numbers, an average of 29.11% for Sunday and 27.71% for Saturday, are not nearly as poor as one may initially think. Perhaps more interesting, though, is a distinct pattern seen of transfer percentages decreasing as the week progresses.
Simply, it appears most schools have their best results Monday through Wednesday and significant decreases as things edge toward the weekend. As I pointed out last week, this could mean a couple of things:
- Potential students may be harder to contact toward the end of the week
- Some type of inability of staff to contact inquires at the end of the week
- Other business practices that may affect the admissions process (for example, a large amount of staff taking Friday off, which would lead to a staff shortage and declining transfer percentages)
Again, the data alone doesn’t conclusively tell the story, but it does clearly show that something is going on and shows us where to start investigating. Without good data collection, not only would we not know where to begin, we wouldn’t even know there was a problem.
CONVERSION RATES AND TRANSFERS: DATE OF THE MONTH ANALYSIS
Marketing budgets are often designed to get the most out of each day of a given month so the month as a whole is productive and producing results. Although there are many different methods of achieving a well-distributed budget, is this necessarily the best strategy? There is a belief that better quality inquiries (i.e. conversions) are front-loaded towards the beginning of the month, but is this really true? Five schools’ conversion rates were examined in terms of their transfers over the first and second quarter of 2012 by date of the month. The data below illustrates the findings.
As you can see, some schools such as School A and School B have slightly better results towards the first five to eight days of each month; however, conversion rates clearly vary from school to school over the course of the month. In fact, some schools, such as Schools C, D and E perform very well in the last few days of the month although inquiry flow is often considerably less since the 31st only happens every other month for the most part.
In summary, conversion performance for transferred inquiries over the course of the months varies considerably from school to school and no true trend is present. Schools must be aware of this when allocating budgets and implementing caps of any sort. Inquiry value is apparent at all times of the month and should be approached as such.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 9:56 am and is filed under Marketing Analysis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.