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How UNC–Greensboro Reversed Enrollment Trends with Veera and Tableau

A couple of years ago, the University of North Carolina–Greensboro (UNCG) was facing two distinct enrollment challenges: sharp declines in incoming freshman and student retention rates. In just the previous four years, the enrollment number at had dropped about 1,000 students.

As many higher-ed institutions are learning, a dwindling number of high school graduates nationally creates more competition among schools to attract those students. And to make up for smaller class sizes, the need to keep students happily enrolled—all the way through graduation—is more critical than ever.

UNCG’s Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, Dr. Bryan Terry, recognized the need for a new strategy to remedy these enrollment setbacks, and he understood that gaining a stronger handle on student data could yield critical insights and lead to better outcomes.

Finding a versatile solution

Terry turned to his colleague Jeffrey Collis, Data Manager at UNCG, to help locate a solution that would enable them to easily merge and integrate data from multiple sources and locations on campus; clean and blend that data for reporting and deep analysis; and finally to be able to generate predictive models and begin forecasting enrollment and re-enrollment rates based on the data.

UNCG discovered the all-in-one power, versatility, and ease of Rapid Insight’s Veera platform, including Veera Construct (for seamless data integration, preparation, and reporting) and Veera Predict (for automated and fully defendable predictive modeling).
 

The Veera platform in action

With Veera, Collis developed a robust data reporting and predictive analytics system for UNCG. Using Veera Construct’s visual workflow tools, Collis built several jobs that constantly, automatically update a series of dashboards within Tableau—enabled by a one-click output within Construct.

These Tableau visualizations ensure that every major stakeholder on UNCG’s campus—deans, enrollment management, provosts, and vice-chancellors—has timely access to up-to-date enrollment data. Insights drawn from the data have allowed faculty and staff to adjust their student success and retention strategy.

And within two years, UNCG was able to reverse the slide and boost its retention rate by 4.5%.

Why the Tableau output matters

As encouraging as the results are, Tracy and Collis and the rest of the leadership at UNCG don’t expect national enrollment trends to make their jobs any easier.

Fortunately, Veera Construct removes any hassles to do with data prep and reporting, including (and especially) its fully automated output process to Tableau. Veera Construct’s “TDE Node” allows Collis to transfer clean data to a Tableau Data Extract (TDE) file format, which is essential to Tableau’s ability to receive information for instant updates.

Creating Tableau dashboards via Veera Construct means never having to be detoured through Excel to keep data visualizations consistently accurate for key decision-makers.

“I can’t imagine life without Veera Construct, or trying to do all that in Tableau without it,” said Collis as he considered this task using the tools he had prior to Rapid Insight’s software. “Veera Construct makes life easy.”

 

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