Evaluating student information systems (SIS) can be a huge challenge. First, it is a massive expense that hundreds or thousands of individuals will use every day. Additionally, your choice may impact the student’s ability to be successful in their academics, meaning it is vital to find the right one.
With reliable and high-performing student information systems, your school can make student achievement easier, reduce operating costs, and make your operations more efficient and effective. But implementing the wrong system can have an equally negative impact on your school.
Evaluating student information systems is a vital part of finding the right one. Still, the process can be daunting, especially for educators who may not understand all of the technological aspects of these systems.
The following tips can make the process of evaluating student information systems easier by helping you understand the important components and how they may impact your unique educational facility.
1. Look for a system that will continue to grow with your organization. Unfortunately, many institutions have very outdated student information systems. The interface may not be intuitive, and the system is likely very slow. These delays can make it hard to succeed in academia, especially in light of modern user demands.
When evaluating SISs, look for a system that can continue growing and evolving in step with your organization.
2. Identify the analytics you need. Data is at the foundation of almost all major business decisions today. And with the excessive amount of data being collected daily, it can be easy to believe that you need many metrics with your SIS. But the reality is that you likely only need a small set of all available metrics.
Look for systems with built-in features to collect the data you need. This analytical capacity can quickly make the data you need for informed decision-making available.
3. Consider communication features. Modern student information systems are robust platforms that can handle a diverse range of tasks. And similar to platforms required in business processes, student information systems should also have collaborative features for group work.
An SIS should be able to track student data throughout the entire recruitment phase through admissions and the candidate’s entire time with the education facility. However, these systems should also have role-based data management, ensuring that the information that staff and faculty see is appropriate for their interactions with the student.
4. Consider an integrated ERP. Large organizations, such as higher education institutions, also generally require enterprise resource planning. If you select an SIS With an integrated ERP, you can streamline additional operations, such as finance, payroll, human resources, procurement, and project management.
With this level of integration, it is easy to better understand how to make planning decisions, such as budgeting and adjustments, to enhance efficiency and productivity.
5. Look at the consumer experience with the SIS across multiple channels. Today’s students and faculty are incredibly busy. And with the shift to remote learning during the pandemic, individuals started to rely on mobile devices more than they have in the past. And this means that your SIS needs to be very responsive and easy to use (providing a mobile app version).
Additionally, consider how the experience changes when interacting with a PC versus a mobile device. Modern users have high expectations for technology and expect a solution that provides a streamlined and pleasant experience.
6. Consider how the SIS can help your students succeed. Assisting students to find success is one of – if not the – primary goal of any academic institution. A robust SIS will help you address student success in various ways. For instance, you can track characteristics and habits that identify at-risk students, allowing your organization to offer the proper support to help them get back on track.
The SIS should also be easy to navigate for users. It should give them a clear understanding of their progress and any unmet requirements they still have to achieve.
7. Look for customization features. Ideally, your SIS should function as an extension of your physical campus. Therefore, it should have the same look and feel, providing a cohesive educational experience. Additionally, depending on the school, you may need unique features built-in to the SIS.
The right SIS should easily adapt to customers without requiring a ton of additional expense or resources.
Evaluating student information is vital before committing to one system. These systems are constantly changing to integrate more features, and there is simply no easy way to tell which one will work best for your institution without learning more about the options.
But evaluating student information systems using the tips above can help you narrow down the choices to get the right student information system for your school.