Datafiltr Customer Story

City, University of London

A quick look at how our relationship with City, University of London has helped them grow their teams and show the impact they are having with better school relationships.

Andy Cotterill

UK Student Recruitment and Schools Liaison Manager. City, University of London

When I arrived at City, school and college liaison was in a good place. As a university, we were working with our strongest feeders and had great relationships with teachers and advisers. Success in London is crucial to achieving City’s aims and had been a backbone of the work with schools and colleges prior to my arrival at the university. My specific remit, back when I started a brand new role in November 2017, was to see where else we could work and where we could breed success.

The operation itself was a well-oiled machine with an army of willing ambassadors hitting the tube to showcase all that the university can offer, but there is only so much the one recruitment officer could coordinate before I arrived. There was a wealth of data on hand to help decide whether school or college requests should be accepted, but the processes behind this were not exactly efficient. Spread across multiple Excel sheets, workbooks and SharePoint files, it was time consuming and sometimes pain staking to filter out the relevant in the hunt for the useful. The spreadsheets did however provide us with the information we needed to start proactively targeting new opportunities.

After working with these spreadsheets for around a year, we got to the stage where we wanted to do more and be more efficient in doing so. As the size of the team had doubled with my arrival, we had more time to take a look at what we were doing, look back through four years of Excel events calendars and admissions data, and school and college information sheets.

After working with these spreadsheets for around a year, we got to the stage where we wanted to do more and be more efficient in doing so. As the size of the team had doubled with my arrival, we had more time to take a look at what we were doing, look back through four years of Excel events calendars and admissions data, and school and college information sheets.

"...it was the exact solution we needed... our targeting was completely transformed..."

We approached Datafiltr having known about it from other institutions, and it was the exact solution we needed. The first thing we were able to do was bring our data all together in one place.

With one easy interface, we could combine our admissions data with school and college data from the DfE, as well as bringing in data from UCAS, to give us market share figures and a year-on-year at a glance profile of every school and college across the UK. Our targeting was completely transformed, as we now could move to a more dynamic system that allowed us to interpret multiple data sources simultaneously, whilst building likely success profiles for our targeting approach.

This wealth of data has been a big sell to academic colleagues when looking to increase engagement, as we can prove the expertise within the team in terms of our decision making and start to try and prove the likelihood of positive interaction. It was also the most effective way for us to find new opportunities to expand our reach in a proactive and strategic manner, testing new water and investing our limited resource into work that was likely to pay off.

Adopting interactions

Interactions were our next step in Datafiltr. As well as looking to the future with who we wanted to work with, it was important to effectively be able to review the overwhelming present activity. Feedback columns on event calendars, prospectuses used and admissions data were always handy, but drawing this together was often a challenge.

Datafiltr allows for school and college interactions to be added to school profiles, bringing the data around that school or college with what was delivered for them. For us, this was a real turning point.

"For the first time we could point to where we had intervened and show the overall impact of the team over a full admissions cycle."

We were able to demonstrate the wealth of interactions delivered by two recruitment staff and the direct impact on application, offer and accept numbers. For the first time we could point to where we had intervened and show the overall impact of the team over a full admissions cycle.

We are now confident in saying yes, and equally confident in saying no where things don’t work, as well as demonstrating to academic colleagues why their influence matters, or where a more generic approach might be better. It also really helps to counteract an anecdotal idea with some empirical results.

Our team has now grown

Fast forward to 2020 and our team of two is now becoming four. We have been able to prove that meaningful interaction with schools and colleges does breed success, and ultimately that more staff can not only deliver more activity, but do so in an increasingly targeted way.

Our senior managers have seen the impact we have and have chosen to invest in us as we are confident we can produce results, not only by working with more schools and colleges, but by ensuring we work with the right schools and colleges where we feel investment of time and resource can really pay off.

Datafiltr’s interface and reporting has enabled us to give more insight on the work of the team and be more transparent about what we are achieving. We can point to where we are succeeding and where we are struggling and use profiling and evidence to come up with solutions to problems along the way. Going forward, we are looking into using the contacts feature of Datafiltr to allow us to produce more targeted mailings to teacher and advisors up and down the country. We will also be using its analysis tools to continue to produce high quality strategic plans and see how we can incorporate our widening participation agenda to produce a fully rounded picture of City’s interactions with schools and colleges.

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