Higher education has seen no shortage of challenges in recent years. At the top of this list is the slow adoption of edtech in a rapidly-evolving digital world. For teams involved in student data collection, a lack of digital resources isn’t only causing workflow disruption. It’s increasing the likelihood that campuses won’t be able to meet the demands of modern students adequately.
The only way for higher education institutions to not fall behind is to adopt digital solutions that help streamline and secure critical workflows. Recruitment, admissions, enrollment, student performance, financial aid, housing, and more can all benefit from improved processes and automation. The more efficient a school’s business operations, the more effort can be put toward improving student, staff, and faculty experiences campus-wide.
The Need for Digital Data Collection in Higher Ed
Data is critical to the success of higher education. And the quality of this data starts with forms. Schools that lack digital processes for collecting data often run into several challenges that hinder efficiency and productivity.
Paper-based data collection processes are neither efficient nor scalable. They often become the source of many data errors and inconsistencies that take hours to correct. What’s worse, these paper processes are often disconnected between departments.
Without good visibility into data or a single source of truth for analysis, campuses struggle to make informed decisions, identify trends, and successfully interact with students.
3 Ways Campuses Can Streamline Data Collection
For admissions, financial aid, or any team that deals with student collecting data, digital technology is the best solution for streamlining — and ultimately future-proofing — higher-ed processes. Here are three ways to start streamlining data collection at your school:
Implement Digital Forms
Moving to digital forms allows campus staff to complete administrative tasks more efficiently. Digitizing eliminates disjointed paper documents and spreadsheets that take hours to sort and process. Online forms can also be stored digitally in a centralized location for easy access by the right people, even across departments.
Paperless workflows with digital forms also improve experiences for students. Your team can provide the convenient and streamlined experiences modern students expect. Digital forms stored electronically make it easier to complete analyses, so your team can track data trends and provide greater personalization with student communication, such as:
- Registration and waitlist set up
- Participant feedback studies
- Student info requests
- Search and recruitment forms
- Status check and enrollment agreements
- Registrar forms
- Online applications
The right web form platform also improves data security. Paper documents and spreadsheets can easily be misplaced or stolen, and it’s difficult to minimize who has access to this information. Digital data collection solutions that prioritize security will ensure that only authorized team members have access to sensitive data. For example, FormAssembly lets users establish roles and permissions for forms, giving you full control over who can access and view data.
Automate Repetitive Processes
Every department across campus, from enrollment and admissions to financial services and student affairs, collects student data. If your team collects data through manual processes, it can be tedious and time-consuming — and even pose a security risk. By automating these repetitive processes, you can reduce workload for your team and increase efficiencies across departments.
Process automation for admissions data collection may look like collecting data digitally and automatically routing this data or attached documents to the right staff. It can also look like automatic notifications to remind students to finish submitting information and provide updates on an application or financial aid status. Automating data collection workflows frees your staff to focus on more important tasks and decisions, while also helping to keep processes streamlined, organized, and time-efficient.
Adopt Integrated Apps and Software
Replacing paper-based processes with integrated digital tools is one of the best ways to streamline data collection processes. Using integrated technology instead of disconnected processes means your team can create efficient workflows campus-wide. Integrated technology also helps to minimize data inconsistencies and improve the ability to extract and analyze valuable student insights.
For example, FormAssembly provides a secure solution that lets teams gather data, build workflows, and connect business systems. Our all-in-one platform means your team can collect student data digitally with secure web forms, route information to different staff members or departments, and automate emails and notifications. By adopting a centralized data collection solution, your team can ensure more efficient processes and better data quality while creating a positive experience for students.
Learn More with FormAssembly + Cloud for Good
Could your higher education data collection processes be more efficient, but you’re having trouble adopting new technology at your school? Listen in as the FormAssembly team and partner Cloud for Good talk with the University of Southern California and Tyndale University about their digital transformation journeys.