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Leveraging CRM analytics in higher education: the differentiator

Published December 1 2021
Pramod Rangarajan, Solutions Architect
Pramod Rangarajan
Solutions Architect
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Article written by Pramod Rangarajan & Bansari Bhatia

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have staggering amounts of data which can be leveraged to make informed decisions. With students being the most important stakeholder, HEIs are increasingly realising the importance of data to improve the student experience across their journey, from being a prospect, to getting admitted, graduating, and giving back as alumni.

However, there is one major roadblock. Data is siloed in different departments and is not accessible from one place. This siloed approach creates duplicated data, and duplicated efforts (and costs) across different parts of the university.

A CRM system assists in breaking the data siloes. With CRM, the student (and other constituents) view is no longer fragmented across the institutions. Universities which break the data silos have the potential to find a holistic view of the student that can in turn drive more proactive strategies across the institution. As an example, SEM (Strategic Enrollment) can’t be optimized without the creation of a unified student data hub to manage student engagement data.

Analysis of the past, present, and future

Apart from storing data about various constituents’ interactions with the institution, and being an authoritative single source of truth, another important functionality of CRM is analytics i.e., to process the data and provide actionable insights.

Today, HEIs not only want to look at the past (descriptive and diagnostic analytics) to explain what or why something happened, but they are also interested to know about the future (predictive and prescriptive analytics) in order to choose the best possible action for achieving their desired outcomes.


Advancements in AI, IoT (Internet of things), and other digital technologies are reshaping how data can be leveraged for competitive advantage. With CRM analytics built using these technologies, HEIs can analyse the data with a click, make strategic decisions, and thereby improve the overall student experience.

The table below captures some of the use cases of CRM analytics across a student’s journey:


Big Data: Managing a critical resource

It is evident that big data is at the heart of analytics. However, with stringent regulations being imposed around the world and changing public opinion surrounding data, HEIs need to be more careful than ever about how they are handling the large volumes of data captured. Therefore, it is extremely important to have a data governance framework in place.

A data governance framework is a guiding strategy for categorizing, organizing, defining, and collaborating data. It defines what data is and how to use it within a cross-functional institution.

With a framework in place, along with a fully functional CRM system, HEIs will not only be able capture quality data, but also ensure its security, compliance, and privacy & confidentiality. It will ensure that data is consistent, reliable, and uncompromised at every stage.

  • Are you leveraging the full potential of your data?
  • How do you plan to unlock the power of data in your institution?
  • How are you managing your Strategic Enrollment with a fragmented data ecosystem?
  • How will you comply with current and future data privacy regulations where institutions need to confirm they are managing and controlling any relevant data elements?