How Counting Students Can Help Overcome Challenges Faced by Universities

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  2. 2018
  3. July

Once hailed as “the great equalizer,” higher education is now under more scrutiny than ever. Promoting the value of a college degree remains the most difficult university challenge faced by higher education establishments. It’s no surprise, when rising tuition costs and fewer high-paying job opportunities are a growing concern.

Every area of the budget must be tightened up to combat the increased cost and reduced funding. Universities know that accurate data is crucial to overcoming budgeting challenges, and student and visitor traffic trends are no exception.  There are three key challenges that can be met by utilizing this data harnessed by a people counting technology solution.

  1. Managing Operating Costs.

It’s always a struggle when you’re asked to do more with less. If you aren’t looking at foot traffic patterns, you may be missing a critical area where you could be saving. Facility management can be expensive, and you may be spending money keeping facilities open during hours they aren’t likely to be used. If your budget has been slashed and gutted in every area possible, yet you’re still being asked to further reduce expenses, you’re not alone. Many schools are facing this same university challenge. People counting data can help pin point areas of waste, so that the staff and equipment needed for a student union, library, or recreational center can fit into to allotted budget.

  1. Finding Funding.

Non-profit universities especially rely on funding and donations to stay afloat, but without presenting comprehensive data in grant proposals and funding requests, how can you successfully secure the funds you need?  Providing the facts and figures is a crucial step to justifying any request for funding.  If you want to expand and grow programs and facilities on campus, you must first show how these are currently being utilized. Finding funding for projects like these can be a tough university challenge to overcome, but hard data is difficult to ignore.

  1. Showing Value.

With arts, clubs, and athletics on the chopping block, it is vital that proof be given for which programs are valuable to students. People counting sensors gauge the success of events and programs to determine the popularity of each, so that decision makers understand the tastes and interests of their students. If proving your school’s worth both as a learning and a cultural center has become a major university challenge for you, foot traffic data can be used as hard evidence to support your claim.

A Path to Success

Running a university and ensuring its success will never be easy. As an administrator, you have to work extra hard under immense pressure to make sure your students are learning and thriving, and that the university itself continues to secure the funding it needs while remaining affordable enough for prospective new students. With an ever-diminishing budget and a surge in tuition rates it is increasingly difficult to make changes that don’t negatively impact the quality of the education and experiences you offer. Campus foot traffic data will play a large part in helping you meet your university’s challenges head-on.

If you are ready to start counting people that traffic your college or university to aid your budgeting and funding requests, contact us today to discuss the unique challenges faced by higher education and how we can help.

3 Signs it’s Time to Upgrade the Way You Measure Foot Traffic

  1. Home
  2. 2018
  3. July

Imagine a busy Saturday at your store, library or museum. You’ve known for a while that these afternoons always have the most foot traffic, and you’ve done what you think is necessary to prepare for the surplus. It started off as a great day with customers and patrons flowing in and out, but then an hour into your most hectic afternoon of the week, you begin to notice that your staff or volunteers are really struggling to keep up with demands, and people are getting upset at increased wait times. You remember this happening before, but you learned your lesson, and took steps to prevent it from happening again by comparing the numbers week to week and making sure you had the staff. What happened?

The problem lies in the numbers themselves. Most likely, your past counts were off, resulting in inadequate staffing. If foot traffic isn’t recorded accurately, you can only guess how many employees you’ll actually need on any given day. Everyone who runs a business effectively knows they need to accurately measure foot traffic. The benefits to this practice are numerous:

Think you might need to upgrade your current people counting methods? Here’s how you can know for sure:

  1. You are doing manual counts.

We feel your pain if you still use this outdated people counting method and have to rely on pen and paper to count people. If you’re currently in this situation, do yourself a favor and switch to an automated system to measure foot traffic. You and all of your staff have much better, more profitable ways you could be spending your time. Not only that, it’s really difficult for humans to get an accurate measure when a place is busy. Nowadays, you can even find thermal sensors that can use body heat to track customer movements around your store, so you don’t just know how many people are coming in, but which sections they’re more likely to go to.

  1. You are using horizontal cross beam sensors.

Cross beams aren’t as tired as manual counts, but they’re still less accurate and less efficient than overhead sensors. If people often arrive in groups, horizontal sensors are more likely to give you false foot traffic recordings. While they may be okay in small doorways that don’t leave room for more than one person to enter at a time, you might be better off switching to a thermal or video sensor that can give you spot-on counts no matter the size of the group coming in.

  1. Your current solution cannot distinguish between adults and children.

This is a big one if you operate a library, museum, casino, or any business where you would benefit from distinguishing between adults, children, — even service animals. Horizontal sensors and thermal sensors by themselves are unable to analyze the type of foot traffic entering your place of business; they can only measure the overall volume, and sometimes not very accurately at that. If you need to know more than a head count, a combination of a thermal and video sensor will be your best bet at categorizing patronage.

Keep your bases covered.

If your palms got sweaty just from imagining the stress of the scenario at the beginning of this post, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, this pops up all too often, making customers wonder why the owners aren’t staffing their business the way they should. Worse yet, customers generally aren’t very understanding when it happens. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you in the future is to have an accurate, efficient way to measure your foot traffic with a modern people counting solution, so you can stay ahead of the game.