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Adopt data-led strategy now, urges IDP Connect

IDP Connect has launched a product that seeks to offer institutions data required to build strategies to become institutions of choice for a diverse range of international students.

Photo: IDP Connect

"It’s important to step back and look at the entire market to see where each institution fits"

IDP Connect IQ taps into the company’s dataset from 109 million site visits across its digital platforms annually, in addition to in-country expertise and enrolment data from more than 50,000 students in 30+ countries.

Demand data and analysis can inform focused marketing and competitive course offerings, explained IDP Connect APAC commercial director Joanna Storti.

Institutions will have to make informed strategic decisions as international students are likely to remain scarce across Australia as a result of Covid-19.

“With many institutions looking at diversifying their target markets for students, understanding the expectation of students in different countries has become increasingly important,” Storti – who joined IDP earlier this year – said.

Tracking macro level changes in student demand has become critical, IDP added. The service has also been launched in all of the company’s other key destination markets.

“For example, we’ve seen a significant increase in interest in the US as a destination since last year’s presidential election, while Australia has declined significantly in the past year largely due to its border closures,” Storti said.

“In this ever-changing landscape it’s important to step back and look at the entire market to see where each institution fits – and where it wants to be,” she said.

“Leveraging data in this way, and understanding students’ concerns will help rebuild the international education sector after a year of extreme disruption.”

One Australian insitution that has signed up for the service – Macquarie University in Sydney – said it has been “revelatory” in order to make data-backed decisions, quickly.

“Working with data is a different skillset to what we were using pre-Covid and we’ve all become like data detectives, piecing the puzzle together,” said the institution’s international director David Harrison.

“IQ data is a key part in making sure we’re really smart about what we do,” he said.

“IQ data is a key part in making sure we’re really smart about what we do”

“Doing ‘deep dives’ into specific country data has been so useful for us and showed that we can make quick decisions that are data-backed, without getting on planes to get in-field insights. And validated and aggregated data only works when you’ve got scale like IDP.”

The service will particularly allow institutions to attract a broader diversity of students, IDP noted.

“Our experience tells us that students often have vastly different perceptions of a destination, depending on a range of factors. This includes where they live, what they are looking for from their studies and their individual priorities,” Storti concluded

“IQ now provides the foundational data for this expertise to our client institutions.”

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