Your Top 5 Data Questions Answered

You don’t need to consider yourself a “data person” to fully leverage the power of NAIS’s data tools. Both Market View—the first tool in the new DASL Insights platform—and DASL offer user-friendly opportunities to drill down into data. Here are the top 5 data questions from schools—and how to find the answers using NAIS’s industry-leading tools.

Where should I focus my enrollment efforts?

With rapidly changing demographics, teams need to revisit their enrollment and admission strategies far more frequently than before. Market View makes it easy, with user-friendly mapping technology and an affordability algorithm that overlays demographic and traffic info, along with economic data. You can even upload your own addresses to the map to see the trends, determine your strongest and weakest areas, and uncover untapped areas.

Supplement your plan by downloading the NAIS DASL Databook, which quickly pulls 12 reports that cover everything from enrollment and student diversity to attrition, tuition, and more. Learn how to download your DASL Databook here.

How do we use data to lead for diversity and inclusion?

To get the best data, be sure your school enters its own data into DASL each year. (Data collection for the 2019-2020 school year begins on June 12.) For tips on how to collect demographic data about your community, click here.

With your data in DASL, you can use the DASL Diversity Dashboard, which helps you measure to what degree your school population reflects the increasing diversity of the U.S. and of your community. Good news: For the 2019-2020 DASL data entry, we’ve streamlined our questions and aligned them with the U.S. Census data, so comparing your school to national trends will be even easier than before.

Then, use Market View to examine the demographics of the area surrounding your school. Are your students only coming from certain neighborhoods? Is your student body representative of your community? Market View’s mapping features and demographic data will help you uncover new areas with potential families for your admission team to explore.

What is the economic and demographic profile of my draw area?

Your school may have been in the same building for 100 years, but the area around you has most likely changed. Visit Market View to get a thorough ZIP-by-ZIP breakdown of the area surrounding your school. Is it reflective of your student body?

Next, DASL will help you gain a greater perspective when you benchmark your school’s demographic data against peer schools, either locally or nationally.

How do we create the most meaningful comparisons for our school while looking at data?  

You want to benchmark yourself against other schools, but first you need to decide who to compare your school to. Sometimes it may make sense to compare yourself to peer schools regionally, other times it may make more sense to look at national trends. Rather than enter that data each time you use DASL, set up a custom comparison group. Once you create your group, you can apply it to all the functionality and tables within DASL, saving yourself time. Want to learn more about creating custom comparison groups? Click here.

What does the competition in my area look like?

Other independent schools, charter schools, public schools … these days parents have more options for their children’s education. Market View plots these options on the map, so you can see which ZIP codes have more choices and adjust your strategy and marketing language accordingly.  

Then, go to DASL and benchmark your school against your peers. What makes you stand out? Which areas do you need to focus on? Benchmark locally and nationally to get the best grasp on the data.