Belfast Metropolitan College attributes enhanced performance and student retention level to digitisation of data

One of the largest colleges in the UK, Belfast Metropolitan College, has significantly improved its operations and student retention levels thanks to a digital data management programme, over the last five years.

Since the college introduced the system, developed by digital specialists Neueda in 2014, Belfast Met has vastly improved its insights into student behaviours and trends and in turn successfully improved student retention levels.

Lisa McCartney, Head of Corporate Development at Belfast Metropolitan College, said:

“It is vital that we have access to accurate and timely information about student enrolments, attendance and achievements, so that we can continually improve our student offering.

“Having traditionally used spreadsheets and manual input to capture a lot of this type of data, we realised we needed a more modern, effective approach if we were to fully understand and improve our operations,” Lisa said.

The college engaged Neueda, who developed a dashboard approach that brought together existing systems and made real-time data available to all employees.

Ralph Graham, Qlik Capability Lead at Neueda explains:

“Belfast Metropolitan College was heavily reliant on tools that were designed for narrow functional reporting, which struggled to provide timely, comprehensive and trusted data on its performance and student behaviour.

“Neueda created a modern data platform that made data on enrolments, attendance, registers, timetables and achievements easily accessible by all college staff.

“We integrated Belfast Met’s key business systems and developed a true self-service business intelligence dashboard for all college employees using a business intelligence platform called Qlikview™.

Lisa McCartney added: “Digitising our approach to data management means we can now make better informed business decisions in relation to student welfare and support, funding and staff payments. We can obtain exam results information quickly and ensure class registers are completed accurately.

“One of the most important outcomes has been our ability to identify trends in student behaviour, allowing us to better tailor course content or intervene with students who may be considering withdrawing from the college. That increased level of transparency allows us to step in and put measures in place to support students and their continuing learning.

“Our entire operations are centred around providing the best possible learning experience to our students and this system has been pivotal in enabling us to do so.”

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