Category : Articles

03 Aug 2016

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Introducing: The Hacker’s Guide to Admissions

Building a Brilliant Application Process on a Budget Forward If you’re reading this, you’re probably frustrated. All you want is modern software that can streamline your admissions process and yield the right students. Yet many institutions are still grappling with inefficiencies left over during the transition from paper to digital workflow. How does a small enrollment team grapple with an increasingly complex web of tasks? Entrepreneurs often face a similar frustration: that’s why startup companies commonly find ‘Hacks’ to create […]

03 Mar 2016

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Save Paper Nostalgia for the Campus Library

Two EdTech Startups Digitizing Student Data for Greater Accessibility A Data Odyssey One advantage of working at a university is the opportunity to drum up nostalgia for old books. Perhaps you’ll remember thumbing through an ancient campus bookshelf copy of “The Odyssey.” In fact, the word “nostalgia” comes from Greek nostos meaning: “an epic hero returning home by sea.” But if you work in enrollment or financial aid, it can often feel like you’re floating in a sea of outdated […]

11 Jan 2016

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DecisionDesk’s 2016 Resolutions

First, and foremost, Happy New Year! 2015 was a big year. Not perfect by any stretch, and with plenty of growing pains. An Unlikely Start and A Bold Position For those of you who don’t know our history, DecisionDesk originally launched (under a different name) out of a dorm room in 2008 as an online portfolio tool. By 2013, DecisionDesk had nearly 100 institutional partners using our video portfolio product. Exciting, to say the least, but we continuously heard complaints […]

11 Dec 2015

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Using Technology To Combat Admissions Selectivity Biases

Graduate programs realize they need to embrace a more sophisticated approach to enrollment management, but must overcome serious cultural, financial, and technological hurdles. This was a recurring theme of the CGS (Council on Graduate Schools) conference in Seattle last week. In particular, Deans and VPs tasked with enrollment initiatives voiced feeling overwhelmed.  Benchmarking diversity, for example, requires broad oversight into the complex minutia of needs encompassing 50 – 100 individual programs. Historically, departments that operate more or less independently have […]

30 Nov 2015

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Dueling Tweets Signal “Next Frontier” in EdTech Data

Reframing the Institutional Data Conversation Admissions & enrollment leaders are ready to harness education technology data. But how are they preparing their campuses to analyze this information? Members of the DecisionDesk team joined over 200 higher education leaders at the Eduventures Summit in Boston last week, “The Next Frontier.” While such bold, futuristic themes that can often be quite speculative, we left refreshed and excited. Attendees asked smart questions about the future while remaining confidently grounded in the present. In-depth sessions […]

10 Sep 2015

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What Domino’s Pizza Tracker® Can Teach us about Higher Ed

When I look back at disruptive technology of the past decade, two products come to mind: the iPhone—which sparked the smartphone revolution—and Domino’s Pizza Tracker®, which sparked my obsession with ordering pizza. And yes, I’m moderately serious. Even if you’ve never experienced the joy of watching Pete prep your pizza, chances are you’ve heard about the online tool that enables Domino’s customers to follow the progress of their order from the time they click the “Place Order” button until the […]

04 Aug 2015

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5 Ways DecisionDesk Improves Staff Productivity

Tell me if this sounds familiar: “Good evening. My school mailed my transcript today and I’m writing to see if you have received it?” My first few years in admissions we received hundreds of such emails and calls every week (often with similarly impossible requests). It was a serious drain on both our productivity and morale. We even began to doubt the sanity of our applicants. However, when we prioritized applicant experience, our field testing revealed that students were justified […]

29 Jul 2015

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Prioritizing Applicant Experience

Learning from Students After five years experience as an admissions officer, last fall I traveled throughout China with a startup that is matching international students with American graduate mentors to assist in the application process (pictured, right, next to my very serious popup display banner). I was welcomed by highly enthusiastic and intelligent crowds at over a dozen top Chinese universities. Perhaps a bit jaded after giving hundreds of such presentations, I thought I was ready for anything. But taking […]

21 Jul 2015

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Common Application Review Solution

The Common Application is home to student data that’s crucial to decision making. But transferring data from the CommonApp to another system can be a hassle, and admissions offices are handicapped when notes, rankings, and comments exist in different systems. DecisionDesk solves this with a cloud-based SaaS (Software as a Service) product that streamlines any admissions process. Our intuitive application review solution enables colleges to make smarter, faster, more thorough decisions. With more efficient decision making, admissions staff can return their […]

16 Apr 2015

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Opening Day and the Gartner ‘Cool Vendor’ Report

For many baseball teams, April 6 was opening day. It’s a day of optimism. A day to see if your team has the right roster of players that’ll ultimately win a World Series title. Coincidentally, also on April 6th, Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, profiled DecisonDesk in a new report: “Cool Vendors in Leveraging Data in Education, 2015.” The purpose of the report is to help higher education institutions identify technology vendors that help […]