5 Ways To Enhance Data Management for Admissions Professionals in Schools

Will Conolly

Published in Applicaa | March 20, 2024

The digital age of education, you’ve got to love it. Some schools are really embracing this new age, some not so much! Read on to get some tips on how you can revolutionise your admissions processes.

So, in this blog, I’m going to discuss 5 tools and strategies that can make life easier for those of you amazing school staff who are dealing with admissions. We want everything to be professional, effective, and concise for everyone involved. This blog should help you with that.

Plus, right at the bottom of this blog I’ll share a quick story that led to a recent Applicaa customer saving thousands of pounds. A much-needed boost for schools these days!

Table Of Contents

  1. Digital Data Collection: The First Step to Modernisation
  2. Simplified Processes for Parents and Students
  3. Integration with Management Information System (MIS)
  4. Reducing Human Error for Parents
  5. Purpose-Built Admissions Platforms

1. Digital Data Collection: The First Step to Modernisation

You might find it a bit shocking, but believe it or not, some schools are still sticking to the pen-and-paper method for gathering data.

Now, I’m all for nostalgia, but this approach isn’t just a bit old-fashioned; it actually ups the chances of losing data or making mistakes and puts a real drag on the whole admissions process.

The first step towards bringing your admissions into the modern age? Get yourself set up with an online digital data collection system, like our amazing Admissions+ system.

This move isn’t just about keeping pace with the digital world – it’s a game changer for making your data more accurate, secure, and easy to get to. By shifting over to a digital platform, schools can make sure they’re not just collecting info efficiently but keeping it safe as houses too. I guarantee you that your parents are far more likely to engage (and be timely) in a digital process as opposed to a paper-based process!

2. Simplified Processes for Parents and Students

Getting the admissions journey right can really make a world of difference, not just for you on the admin side, but for parents and students too. Keeping things simple and straightforward is key. Making sure everyone knows exactly what’s needed from them with clear instructions and those non-negotiable fields that just have to be filled in. It’s all about not letting any important bits slip through the cracks and saving a significant amount of time having to chase missing data.

Through my work with many (many!) schools, I’ve found that walking applicants through each step, making sure they don’t skip over anything crucial, means schools end up with all the information they need right from the start. You get a full picture of who’s applying, and families don’t end up tearing their hair out trying to figure out what goes where in the process.

For some schools it’s been quite the learning curve, figuring out how to make this whole thing as painless as possible. With Admissions+ you see it all come together, and you’ve got happy families and a smooth-running admissions process, it’s clear it’s worth every bit of effort.

3. Integration with Management Information System (MIS)

I remember this one time, a school telling me about when they used to be up to their eyeballs in paperwork, trying to make sure every bit of student info was spot on. And they said that, despite their best efforts, mistakes were as common as rain in April. It was clear something had to give. That’s when they first started looking for ways to weave their online admissions process right into the Management Information System (MIS).

The beauty of doing this? It’s like setting up a direct pipeline from your admissions process which feeds straight to the MIS, cutting out the middle man, or in this case, the need for any of your staff to manually input data. You wouldn’t believe the difference it makes. Suddenly, the errors that used to sneak in and make themselves at home were history.

Integration with your MIS means that all the student information is not just up to date but accurate across the board. And the thing is, it wasn’t just a win for the admin team; it impacted a huge number of stakeholders. Your DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) is happy because you have all of the correct contact information for all of your new students, the Data Manager is happy because it saves them a huge amount of work in getting ready for the census. Finally, your pastoral lead and SENCO have all of the relevant information they need on those incoming students so they are forewarned and forearmed to support those students.

4. Reducing Human Error for Parents

You know, in the same way you’re always on your toes trying to keep errors to a minimum on your end, it’s just as crucial to help parents dodge those pesky mistakes too. Using things like postcode lookup, managing specific formats for contact details, and getting your applications system to automatically capitalise names – it might sound simple, but it’s a game changer.

These little tweaks mean that right from the get-go, you’re all but ensuring the information coming in is spot on. No more back-and-forth emails or calls checking a mistyped address or a name that’s somehow got lost along the way.

The thing is, it’s these small adjustments that can save a huge amount of time and hassle.

5. Purpose-Built Admissions Platforms

I’ve been working with a new Applicaa customer over the last couple of weeks. I was chatting with them and they shared a story that really stuck with me.

They’d taken the plunge and invested in our admissions portal. Now, I know what you’re thinking – that sounds like a hefty initial outlay, right? No.

The thing is, the financial savings and efficiency gains they saw were nothing short of remarkable.

They told me that, by going for our purpose-built platform, they ended up saving more than double what they would have otherwise spent on temporary agency staff to manually slog through admissions data over the summer. It got me thinking about how many other schools might be overlooking the long-term benefits for the sake of short-term savings.

Specialised platforms are built to cater precisely to what schools need, making sure that every piece of data is gathered, processed, and kept safe with the highest standards of accuracy and security.

Get In Touch

The digital transformation of admissions data handling isn’t just a matter of convenience; it’s a strategic move towards better data management and operational excellence.

By adopting online digital data collection, simplifying the application process, integrating with your MIS, reducing human error, and utilising a purpose-built admissions platform, schools can achieve a more efficient, accurate, and stress-free admissions process. Ask yourself this question – would a gardener ever go out on a job equipped with a pair of scissors to cut grass? It is not unreasonable to have the best (and most relevant) tools at your disposal to undertake your job!

It’s time to embrace these tools and give your school the competitive edge it deserves.

Get in touch today info@applicaa.com, and we can help you start your journey with ease.

Will Conolly