Driving Analyst Usage by Ben Allen, Head of Marketing, Sales & Communications
City of Bristol College has a turnover in excess of £60m. We employ 2,000 staff, and support around 30,000 students across five main centres in Bristol.
In order to manage the challenge of funding cuts, we recognised the need to diversify our revenue steams. Through a shift in our marketing focus, we moved to proactively treating our students as customers, with a priority to meet their needs and the needs of the market on a sector by sector basis.
This was driven by curriculum planning, investment decisions and marketing campaigns. However, we do not employ a dedicated Labour Market Information specialist and therefore bought the Analyst system to help us understand the market needs in our region, and to identify how we could transition from a supply to a demand driven model.
Purchasing the system has been more cost effective than using a researcher, and we have been able to dissect every sector within our offer.
Analyst has given us trusted, politically neutral LMI data. Our business cases have their roots in fact, resulting in increased credibility and enabling us to make better investment decisions. Similarly, our bids have been strengthened by the addition of data, and the process of compiling them has been shortened.
We run reports with speed and ease and export them to either Word or Excel for onward internal communication. The data is clear and is pre-branded for our College requiring no additional editing.
The process of moving from an internal view to an external one has not – in all cases – been easy. Some staff members have felt “confronted” by the data, and we still have a way to go on our journey. We have proceeded with patience, explaining the reliable sources the data is derived from and encouraging colleagues to use their professional judgement when engaging with it. We only transfer ownership when we feel colleagues are confident in their ability to use the system and interpret the results with ease.
Based on our experiences of Analyst, we would recommend setting up user groups (for us these were based within sector meetings) and using the tool to generate quick wins in terms of bids and business planning. We intend to continue our approach of repeated exposure to the data in order to both create a sense of familiarity and ensure our focus remains external.
If you are interested in learning more about how Analyst can help you, please contact Andy Durman.
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