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How to Compete and Succeed with Knowledge Driven CRM

Karl Burgher

Former Chief Strategy Officer at Indiana State

How do you distinguish between student information data and student population data? What is the difference between the two?

CAMPUS MANAGEMENT: From the way that we look at systems student information data is really about the student progressing towards completion whether it is in a short term program or continuing education it is really about the academic data that is associated with the student enrolled in the program whether it be attendance, grades what classes they are taking or dropping.

Population data is more about the behavioral, psychographic and demographic data about students and categorizing these students based on patterns that you see. That is really the difference between information, student information data is really about the student record and progressing. Population data is about their behavior and how you group those students to find the best ways to engage with them.

How do you staff The Student Success War Room?
Who is on that team?

KARL BURGHER: Managing the strategic plan we engaged IT, coupled together a couple of other pieces of people from the Office of Information Technology and then we have an associate vice president of student success who also has a number of staff. Primarily, I was scrolling myself through the questions – we did all of this probably with two and a half FTE in the back end. So the war room is actually – half a dozen really high end computers, big huge screen on the wall, this is where we bring people in to talk about data manage campaigns and all. But it was a bit of a branding and a show piece.

How did you fund the enterprise CRM at Indiana State? Was it centrally funded or did you have departments buy in to the application?

KARL BURGHER: Spending money is about choices. I raise a lot of money in my time managing a lot of contracts from primarily the federal government and when somebody told me no that meant they didn’t like my project because I was working with the Federal Government and they print money. So some people always have money. So it is about making the sale and the value proposition. Something always has to go away in this environment to have something else. What we did at Indiana State is when we implemented – I managed probably going on $10 million worth of projects now in four years we cut back and we cut back below the line so that we would then have money to distribute out through an RFP process campus wide for a variety of strategic initiatives. So short answer it was essentially funded.

The bigger answer is that everybody has to make choices about what you are going to spend your money on. And let me put it in another perspective. Let’s say we got maybe a quarter million dollars in this project we have $1000 between software and computers and salary or two - -but we really stole the labor. Indiana State’s budget is really well over $100 million and if you can’t – if you can’t spend a half a million dollars fixing an issue or becoming competitive with a $150 million budget you obviously have other issues.

I managed $15, $20 million school budgets before. Obviously had to spread that over a little bit of time but if you think about it in terms of a percentage if you want to invest in a strategic plan usually what it takes to invest in a strategic plan is a small percentage of the overall university budget. So that is where the decision lies. A very important strategic decision enterprise wise.

Do you have an example of a campaign that was not successful, something you thought would matter in retention that turned out not to be significant?

KARL BURHGHER: No. I will tell you why - -we did initiate a whole bunch of campaigns and some worked better than others, but I can point at every one of those campaigns that didn’t work I can’t tell if it was a big problem because the folks that were to manage it did it poorly. Follow me? Because the management was poor and because the action did not take place as the model suggested – in fact, some of the campaigns we developed you know good math.

We had real good math and we studied it hard, but then in its execution it fell down I can’t really tell you if the data was bad or not because we would have to go out and try it again and get it executed robustly before I can answer that question. So I think the math was good, but nine times out of ten your campaigns are going to fall down – by the time you decide what to do because there are so many things to do and if you got good heads in the room and develop some good campaigns and just don’t do it. Nine times out of ten it is going to fall down because it is a management or a turf problem not a data and technology problem.

How do you manage both student information from a credit perspective and workforce related information ie. Sales funnel and so forth in the same CRM – can that be done?

CAMPUS MANAGEMENT: You may have heard Karl refer to a couple of things like the Higher Ed pack or these product slang type terms – but really with the CRM system and one that we designed for higher education you have to think of it in terms of people. People come in and then people may have different functional roles. And that is where the like – Karl mentioned the Higher Ed pack or the lead which allows you to take a person record and then categorize them or assign what would be a lead record, so we would know this person is going to be a student or this person is going to be a contact at an organization that we are going to use to hold events to recruit students or to have alumni get together.

Or for your example, one that I think is really important is engaging in the community to help to build relationships for students to graduate and go out and get jobs which I think is really important. So the same CRM understanding that a contact is a person and that you can assign different functional roles or different contact types allow you to manage a whole bunch of different relationships in the same CRM and that is really where the power of constituent relationship management is and it is not just about students it is really about managing relationships with people and knowing how the different people need different types of messaging and engagement.

When CRM software is used to trigger an intervention can it be used to track the interventions themselves that they occurred and what the results were for the referrals and so forth – How can we achieve this?

CAMPUS MANAGEMENT: Our campaign engine allows you to design a workflow of events that pays attention to when someone responds, when they don’t respond, what happens when they don’t respond in a certain amount of time. So as you create a list of targets that you send a campaign to the system is able to use tracking URLs to see who responds and who doesn’t and then take initial action off of that and then all of that has been aggregated into reports. So you get a real ROI on how engaged your targets were on the messages that you sent. It also automatically updates properties – it is pretty powerful once you really get deep into understanding how it really works.