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Universities looking to data for their recruiting strategies

Paul Newman Archive

Organizations are turning to big data so they can use hard facts to advise their decisions rather than relying on the insights of individuals who might have personal stakes in important matters. Unlike people, figures do not lie - that is, unless they contain poor data quality because the information wasn't run through the proper address management systems. It's through data that universities are getting an unbiased look into their student demographics and determining how to move forward. 

For George Washington University, an unfiltered look into its student body inspired an $11 million rebranding campaign that aims to increase diversity, as reported by The Washington Post. The school in Washington, D.C. has one of the highest tuition rates in the country - more than $56,000 a year - and has gained a reputation as a party school for wealthy East Coasters and international students. To turn this around, the university wants to focus on its plans to become a nationally renowned research institution by drawing from the best and brightest students, regardless of their socioeconomic backgrounds.

As the school engages in these plans, decision-makers can tap into new analytics strategies to measure progress toward their diversification goals and even identify strategies that will be most effective in the future. These might include appealing to individuals from communities that are known as hubs for IT leaders, cutting-edge scientists or creative types. 

For instance, data that was collected from the American Community Survey that identifies service, working and creative classes, found that Berkeley is a center for creative, intelligent people, according to The Berkeleyside.

It might seem impossible to collect enough information and develop algorithms that can reveal this type of information, but organizations are leveraging data analysis to make valuable discoveries every day. However, they must contend with the staggering volumes, increasing speed and growing variety to spot those trends and similarities, according to news and strategic information source CRN. Companies can use a data management system to counter those stumbling blocks by ensuring that only the highest quality of information is being kept while everything outdated or incorrect is purged.