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Alumni Databases: Keeping Them Updated in Virtual Real Time

On April 15th IEI’s Matt Manning spoke at the CASE District 4 Conference in Houston where he addressed an audience of alumni relations professionals. He discussed IEI’s recent experience updating an alumni database with the same tools IEI uses on B2B lists—web monitoring, Internet research, crowdsourcing, and telephone verification. The project involved appending contact information, updating and adding employment data, and screening for deceased alumni and it yielded some strong results.

Resources at colleges and universities are always scarce, but, Matt emphasized, “Updating alumni databases consistently is an investment that pays off.”  An accurate and robust database means more ways of engaging alumni and less wasted marketing dollars due to inaccurate data. He explained that social media appends are particularly important to the engagement process because “Social media has the advantage of being cheap, immediate, viral, and two-way.”

Matt concluded his presentation with two predictions:

  1. Social engagement metrics will soon play a critical role in college rankings algorithms. 
  2. Employment data will be critical to higher ed’s ability to provide accurate and defensible outcomes data.

The takeaway: the maintenance of robust, up-to-date alumni databases is essential to the future of American colleges and universities and can be accomplished through the simple reallocation of existing resources

posted by Shyamali Ghosh on April 17, 2014

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