Guide to University People Counters

Chapter 1: Visibility

At your university, you provide students value through on-campus facilities, organizations and resources. A college or university is a valuable part of any community, allowing students from around the world to further their education, build a network and hone the skills needed for their chosen career paths. Both public and private universities provide a learning space for people of a wide range of backgrounds and ages.

If you want to serve your student body effectively, you should know how they use your facilities, resources and services. Knowing how students use these resources can help you optimize your institution’s operations to serve your students best and improve campus life for students and faculty.

What Is a College People Counter?

A college people counter is an electronic sensor that counts visitors as they enter or exit a facility, room or a specific area of a building. With our VisiCount software, our people counting system can then separate your data by entrance and time. You can also include other variables, such as weather conditions, staffing hours and daily special events. You can use this valuable data to generate reports and make informed decisions regarding your institution’s operations.

One of the biggest challenges on a college campus is tracking how many visitors enter a facility throughout the day. For example, you may want to track how many students visit the library or the dining hall to determine whether these services are being fully utilized. Of course, this challenge is not unique to college campuses — many industries need a reliable method for measuring the number of daily customers or visitors. Traf-Sys people counting systems are used in a wide range of industries, businesses and organizations, including:

  • Casinos
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Retail stores
  • Student unions
  • Shopping malls
  • Visitors centers
  • Public sector facilities

Since many universities include libraries, student unions and stores, you’ll find that a people counting system can be useful across your campus.

Do Colleges Need People Counters?

One of the reasons why universities need people counters is to counteract higher education budget cuts. In the wake of budget cuts, it can become increasingly difficult to provide value to students successfully. Universities and colleges turn to increasing tuition and undermining the quality of educational services to spend within budget. Though budgets are decreasing, enrollment is on the rise, which means colleges have even fewer resources to serve the entire student body. This is where college people counters come in.

A people counting system can enable your college or university to combat cuts in funding by optimizing your facilities, even on a tight budget. To avoid reduced funding and increased costs, you should analyze every area of your budget for efficiency. For your university, accurate data is essential to overcome budget challenges like funding cuts. If your university budget has been slashed yet you still need to reduce expenses, a people counting system can help. The valuable data from people counters can ensure an area or facility doesn’t get the axe when budget cuts are made.

Whether you’re preparing your campus to welcome back students and faculty or looking to improve your campus space, people counters can help you provide exceptional service and a clean, welcoming environment. You may even be able to justify a funding request by showing how many people use your facilities.

You can install sensors above doors, seating areas and hallways to monitor the number of people entering or leaving an area or building. This data is sent to the central system, where it is consolidated into a report that shows how many visitors entered a building during a certain period.

Benefits of People Counters for Colleges

To determine whether people counters are the right option for your college or university, consider the advantages these systems can offer your campus. The following are the four main benefits of using people counters on your college campus:

  • Value
  • Space
  • Budget
  • Visibility

In this guide, we will cover each of the benefits in greater detail to help you understand why a people counting system will be so advantageous to your campus. You will also learn more about the specific benefits of using people counters in different spaces on college campuses.

Chapter 1: Visibility

The primary function of people counters is knowing how many people are using facilities. This data gives you the visibility you need to evaluate how your facilities are being used so you can combat funding getting cut.

What, When and Where

People counters answer the questions “What?,” “When?” and “Where?” and allow your university to figure out “Who?” and “Why?” with that information. For instance, if you need to change staff schedules or recruit new hires, you can quickly identify what your needs are and how to meet them.

Monitoring College Foot Traffic

On campuses, libraries and student unions are the hubs of student activity. Additionally, both faculty and students enter and leave multiple buildings throughout the day to attend classes, study, eat and socialize. Before the advent of people counting technology, universities and colleges relied on sales history to track visitors. However, since so many resources are free and many visitors don’t make a purchase within a campus building, relying on sales history is likely to be an inaccurate measurement of how many students and faculty actually use your facilities.

A people counting system is a much more accurate way of monitoring foot traffic on your college campus. You can then use this data to inform your staffing needs by identifying peak and slow foot traffic hours. Analyze your data and use these insights to optimize labor costs during slow hours and avoid being understaffed during peak hours. For example, schedule more desk staff on shift at the library during peak hours and recruit new hires if student needs aren’t being met in a particular facility.

If some areas frequently experience greater levels of foot traffic, you can also place staff strategically to be available to assist students. For example, if there are multiple entrances to a building that offers student services, but one entrance is used the most, you may want to place more staff near this entrance.

Measuring College Student Population

Without data about how many visitors use your facilities and resources, it’s challenging to determine the amount of resources needed to accommodate your student body, such as:

  • Food
  • Printers
  • Computers
  • Study materials
  • Workout equipment

This is why so many universities and colleges are turning to people counting systems to track the number of people using facilities. Tracking and using this data can ensure you are running your educational institution efficiently. Students and visitors want to receive prompt assistance, and by placing people counters at the entrances to your facilities, you can determine when you may need additional staff to serve the student body promptly. You can also use this information to combat funding getting cut.

How the People Counting Technology Works

Our Spectrum Series 3D People Counter uses 3D imaging technology to offer highly accurate pedestrian traffic data. You can also use the analytics from these sensors to conduct your operations more efficiently, increase revenue and optimize resources. Product features include:

  • Near real-time data
  • Ignore or detect U-turns
  • Easy setup and installation
  • Counts people directionally
  • Data stored during power loss
  • Ability to handle high-volume traffic
  • Secure data transmission via HTTPS
  • Available in outdoor and high-mount versions
  • Ability to filter out objects from people counts

You can use our video people counter with our VisiCount software, and when you use both on your network, you can monitor the campus pedestrian traffic and develop reports. Easily manage thousands of monitoring points and several facilities and entrances on the system. Our people counter supports Power over Ethernet (PoE) power options, along with a built-in Ethernet connection for data access and configuration. The advantages of our 3D video sensors include the following:

  • Filter options
  • Easy upgrades
  • Extended coverage
  • Remote capabilities
  • Emergency backup storage
  • Automatic detection of installation height
  • Responsiveness to environmental changes
  • Available in three models — Spectrum, Spectrum High-Mount and Spectrum Outdoor

Learn more about how our people counters for colleges and universities give you the visibility you need on your campus. This visibility enables all of the benefits in the following chapters to be possible, as people counter data has many uses. Primarily, you can use this data to justify funding requests and determine how to manage facilities. Funding plays the largest role and is an element of all the following chapters, but the next chapter is dedicated specifically to budgeting.