They say that data is a business’s biggest asset, which is definitely the case for higher education institutions, but data alone without any structure is not valuable. This is where reporting comes in. Reporting software efficiently organises the data to provide useful and actionable insights that can be used to identify problems, issues, and opportunities to improve profitability, operational efficiency, and customer experience. Trying to organise this data manually into reports is often not practical, which is why many institutions are turning to innovative reporting software to manage this process.
Reporting Software Explained
Reporting software is a technology that has been developed to extract data from a range of databases and organise this data into reports to assist decision-makers with making informed business choices. In this case, the reporting software tools analyse raw data and extract insights, statistics, patterns, predictions, future outcomes, and conclusions. Automated techniques and data analysis processes take the collected data from these data warehouses and give it context through reports.
In the case of higher education institutions, a data reporting system assists educational institutions in storing and reporting student and financial information that is essential to the institution’s operations. This includes information related to student application reports, student headcounts, student residence information, financial data, accounts receivable, cash flow information, and more.
Armed with this information, the institution can make informed decisions related to learning, operations, finances, and more.
5 Crucial Aspects of Data Reporting Software
It is clear from the above that business reporting software plays a critical role in higher education institutions. With several different higher education analytics software solutions on the market today, you want to look for a tool that considers the following:
- Your organisational structure – each institution is unique, which means that the way you organise, manage, and measure your objectives is different. The tool chosen should be able to be adapted to your needs and requirements, especially where tracking and recording outcomes based on these are required.
- The need for different types of reports – the software solution chosen should allow different departments to pull data reports based on their operational and reporting needs. This includes the need for different formats, drawing from different data sets, and more.
- Data Integration – the technology chosen should be capable of seamlessly and automatically integrating data from different systems. It should be able to pull reports in almost real-time, calculate and evaluate data consistently to speed up the reporting process.
- Customisation – higher education software tools should enable you to customise your reporting in terms of design, colours, layout, tables, branding etc. It should reflect your institution.
- Customer Support – the software provider chosen should be on hand to provide you and your team with training and guide you through the software implementation process. They should also be focused on providing you with excellent customer service and be available to assist with any questions.
The Benefits of Reporting Software in Higher Education Institutions
Having a reporting software solution in place will assist your institution in highlighting elements that may be negatively impacting your institution. For example, the number of outstanding student fees could significantly impact cash flow and your ability to upgrade facilities. Once such reporting software is Adapt IT’s ITS Integrator which offers the following benefits:
- Allows for quality decision-making – this tool ensures that those running educational institutions receive relevant information and insights about how the organisation is operating. This allows for swift identification of different problems and opportunities that may arise.
- Helps achieve higher levels of efficiency – the time and effort it takes to pull essential reports are significantly reduced when using this reporting software. This improves efficiency within the institution and allows you to identify any issues or problems and rectify them a lot sooner.
- Improves employee productivity – reporting technology reduces the time staff spend on filing, storage, and searching for student information when a report is needed. This frees up the staff’s tasks within the department or organisation, increasing their operational productivity.
- Enhances the quality of service – a reporting system assists in eliminating weaknesses and identifying and rectifying non-performance areas within the institution. This results in the improvement of the quality of service given by staff and received by students.
Data is a powerful asset for higher educational institutions, but this data means nothing unless it is organised and analysed by a reporting software solution. This technology can provide decision-makers with vital information and actionable insights needed to enhance overall profitability, operational efficiency, and customer experience. For more on how this kind of software solution can positively impact your institution, download our Innovation in Higher Education Whitepaper here.