This is really very impressive, considering FSU receives some 55,000 applications every year.
"Florida States Burnette says without BI, the massive stores of data in any organization are like huge hunks of marble before they are chiseled into a meaningful shape. CIOs and information managers can use BI tools to help sculpt the best possible insight into a strategic future.
We realized the advantage in the future is not necessarily in marketing in the traditional sense, but on having a grasp on data being able to use it to make decisions, Burnette says. The more we understand our data, the better off we are in terms of predicting how well were going to do and therefore can make mid-flight changes in our strategy.
By data mining, weve done extremely well in improving admissions profiles and retentions, says Rick Burnette, director of student information management at Florida State University.
But the more success an institution has meeting targets through use of student-enrollment data, the harder it is to make gains. When you talk about moving from an 85 percent retention rate to an 88 percent retention rate, thats a lot different than moving from 88 percent to 90 percent because you start running into a ceiling, he says.
The same is true for admissions. The school moved from an SAT average of 1146 to probably a 1210 for this fall, Burnette says, while at the same time growing from 4,500 students in a class to 6,200 entering freshmen. Were increasing quantity and quality.
Instead of looking at students as a monolithic, homogeneous group, BI enabled Florida State to look at them as being what they are a very diverse population, Burnette says. It was able to determine that, since out-of-state students are harder to retain, the show rate for the new year had to take into account what percentage of accepted students are out of state, and other categorizations.
The show-rate data can also be parsed in many different ways, based on sex, ethnicity and so on.
This year, FSUs goal was to enroll 6,200 freshmen and to distribute those between the summer and fall semesters at preset numbers. As it turned out we enrolled 6,222, Burnette says. Our margin of error was pretty low. "