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Advance 360 Education is proud to be a partner of the EdUp Experience Podcast, America’s leading higher education podcast.

In this NEW EdUp episode, I was honored to co-host a dynamic interview along with EdUp Host Joe Sallustio and our special guest, Mr. William Hajjar, Executive Director, Head of Advanced Analytics and Business Intelligence at Advance 360.

Episode Summary

In this episode of the EdUp Experience Podcast, Mr. Will Hajjar, Head of Advanced Analytics and Business Intelligence at Advance 360, joins EdUp to discuss what makes data analytics and market intelligence such powerful tools for higher education in today’s environment. Further, Mr. Hajjar reviews some of what makes Advance 360 Education a unique and valuable partner for colleges and universities especially as it relates to the use of data, strategic planning, and market intelligence in making strategic decisions for educational institutions.

This EdUp episode is thought provoking for higher ed leaders, and will have you asking, “am I being proactive or reactive with our data, how are we doing with strategic planning and are we using the right data and intelligence to get us where we want to go into the future of an evolving higher education?” This far-reaching discussion examines multiple great opportunities for college and university executives.

Growth of Data and Analytics in Higher Education

In a conversation about the depth and types of data available to institutions today, Mr. Hajjar passionately reviews the availability of information for marketing, enrollment, current student engagement, alumni engagement, and fundraising.

The data available today can be cumbersome and overwhelming at times for institutions that are less data-oriented and thus, Mr. Hajjar demonstrates how to piece data together into a strategy that will guide strategic planning for schools as much as 5-10 years into the future. Adoption of data, change management and even communication are topics of discussion with Mr. Hijjar relative to data and analytics.

Accuracy and quality of data is always a concern of leadership in higher education. Mr. Hajjar fondly recalled a quote from a professor he had at LSU. “If you torture the data enough, it will confess.” This to say, we must use the right data for the right reasons and not merely just for the sake of using data. Survey and behavioral data are topics Hajjar discusses as well.

Professional experience and growing demand for certifications

The COVID pandemic forced higher education institutions to pivot and to be innovative. Mr. Hajjar discusses this dynamic and the ever-changing landscape in which colleges and universities operate. One such area is the growth of training and certification programs being offered by higher education institutions. Another topic covered in this podcast is the view that professional experience carries more weight than ever with employers. This trend seems to have employers not mandating a college degree which has colleges and universities scrambling to compete in a space new to them. This can represent a competitive advantage that carries great value today, but will require strategic planning, understanding of consumer tendencies and the product ecosystem.

Market Intelligence and Research

Mr. Hajjar suggests doing your homework as it relates to targeting specific students, rolling out new programs, curriculum, new campus locations, etc. Being proactive with the use of data was a constant theme in this EdUp Experience podcast episode.

The topic of the “cookieless world,” and being ahead of the curve is something Mr. Hajjar discussed and spoke about with confidence. He explains that Advance 360 Education has been planning for this eventuality and is positioned within thought leadership on this topic. He explains that we will “Link different pieces together,” along with proprietary data to benefit higher education partners through this new marketing challenge.

Mr. Hajjar spoke passionately about how Advance 360 Education is making a difference in higher ed through a variety of data intelligence resources in addition to their digital marketing services that aid colleges and universities in making better decisions.

Advance 360 Education

Mr. Hajjar explains how Advance 360 Education is part of Advance Local, LLC, a company within Advance perhaps, “the largest media company, that no one has heard of.” Advance, founded in 1922, is a private, family-owned business that owns, operates and invests in companies spanning media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, ExamSoft, 1010data and Pop. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Warner Bros. Discovery and Reddit. Hajjar illuminates Advance 360 Education’s, “forward thinking mindset.” One the great strengths highlighted by Hajjar and myself, was how in many ways, Advance 360 Education is a data & technology company rather than merely a marketing agency. Mr. Hajjar reviews the depth of proprietary data owned by Advance and that corporate investments and decisions are not driven by Wall Street.

During this interview, Hajjar explains how he and his team are subject matter experts in the area of data science with deep experience in mathematics, statistics, and programming. Advance 360 Education offers comprehensive research using data analytics, opinion research, market intelligence, surveys, and research to assist higher education clients.

Listen to the full episode

Advance 360 Education is a proud partner of the EdUp Experience Podcast, America’s leading higher education podcast. The EdUp Experience is hosted by Dr. Joe Sallustio, who takes complicated educational topics and makes them fun & engaging to discuss. Elvin Freytes, Producer, brings the most innovative leaders in higher education to the microphone. Stay up to date with education & higher education with guests ranging from University President/CEOs to Venture Capitalists, to Ed-Tech Entrepreneurs.