Experian Data Quality helps the Mean Green save some green and improve student communications
Effective communication with prospective, current, and former students is a top priority for universities. Communicating with potential students is particularly important given how many other colleges and universities are competing for their attention. Colleges want to provide current students with timely communication on classes, tuition payments, grades, sporting events, performances and more, and keep alumni up to date with university happenings, networking events, and fundraising campaigns. The University of North Texas (UNT) at Denton, known as the “Mean Green” in sports, realized that issues with the addresses in their database and duplicate records were potentially jeopardizing communications with students. As it related to recruitment, Kok Chuan Koh, a programmer at UNT, explained, “It is critical that we send timely and appropriate communications to prospective students throughout the process [of undergraduate recruitment] to keep them engaged. Duplicates can result in inappropriate communication and cause the prospective student to drop UNT from their consideration.” It became clear that something must be done to improve data quality and keep UNT on the list of consideration for students, so they turned to Experian Data Quality.
Our duplicate identification software combined with our address validation service created the perfect solution to UNT’s data quality challenges.
Though the UNT undergraduate admissions office already had a software to identify duplicate records, the tool required 8 – 16 hours to run, provided limited technical support, and was at end-of-life. Our duplicate identification tool, on the other hand, works within minutes. It has an easily configurable interface that allows users to tweak the search-match algorithm and adjust the search criteria values, which was critical for UNT’s business processes. Our solution allows users to resolve duplicate records faster and allows UNT to engage with the right prospective students more efficiently. Communicating with prospective students in a professional manner creates a better impression of UNT, and helps to increase the chances that a prospective student will select UNT as their university of choice.
College brochures, acceptance letters, updates on the university and its happenings, invoices, requests for donations, and more: colleges send out lots of mail to prospective and current students and alumni. UNT’s issues with address hygiene across the student lifecycle was impeding the school’s ability to effectively communicate with prospective students, as well as current students and alumni. The high volumes of returned mail meant that in addition to not reaching the intended recipients, UNT incurred unnecessary costs associated with the mailings. Our address hygiene solution uses a highly accurate address-matching algorithm to detect and correct bad addresses, even suggesting corrections for obscure addresses. With its easy-to-understand interface, our solution allows users across departments to validate addresses without training. Within a year of implementing the solution and validating addresses, the return mail volume for the admissions office had reduced by 39%, which translates to significant cost savings.
Better data quality means better communication
With Experian Data Quality’s solutions, UNT now has confidence that they are sending timely and appropriate communication, and that their mailings are successfully reaching students. Improving their data quality with duplicate identification and address hygiene solutions, UNT has improved their communication with students across their entire education lifecycle. In addition to the cost savings associated with lower volumes of returned mail, improving communication with students helps UNT become an even better university by ensuring they remain in consideration for prospective students and that important news—like fundraising campaigns or an overdue invoice—reaches the right people.
Want to improve your communications and reap the benefits of better data quality? We’re ready to help.