Data Mining - Are you missing seams of invaluable information?

Databases are every institutions mine and give us access to precious information that feed strategies for enquiries, applications and enrolments.  At the touch of a button we know how many students enquired,  what source they were from, how many of these students made an application and the numbers that went on to enrol.  We also know what was our best enquiry generation source for enrolments was, what was our weakest source of applications that did not enrol.  These are just a few areas of knowledge that can be extracted from mining, there are many more. The information is vast and for many overwhelming, the key is to have a clear objectives for your mining so you find the seams of knowledge that re important to your institution.   

In order to be able to start our data mining we require an essential resource; the IT team.  In fact before we start our mining we have to ensure that the IT team are able to extract the knowledge we require.  This becomes a major stopping point for many  institutions as the database they are using is unable to provide the extracts that are required.  It is essential that the objectives of the data mining are clearly communicated to the IT team so they can work towards providing the data that is required.  To engage the IT team present them with the objectives so they understand how essential data mining is to the institution.

We also need to be aware that it is common for data mining to done in isolation in different departments, for instance the marketing team know all about their enquiry data, but once the student applies the data becomes the property of the enrolment team and so on.  Data mining is a central role that crosses departments to ensure that the whole picture is understood. 
Data Mining - Are you missing seams of invaluable information?

In the complicated world of students recruitment there are triggers that can have an affect on student numbers, when we are data mining we have to be mindful of these.  One technique is to have a calendar of triggers that have affected your market, then when your mining has a sudden change it can be compared to any market triggers.

There is a role for a data mining coordinator in institutions, a role that is hybrid of marketer, data miner and also understands the many outside factors that can impact on mining results.

Joanna Turner  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.