Firstly, thanks for all the great feedback from the IWMW10, it’s been over-whelming! It was great to know so many people are tuned in to what I am trying to communicate: Showing the value of what web teams do in real terms is fundamental to their ability to attain budgets in the near future.

Since last week I have been thinking about what should be next steps, the importance of the timing was further enhanced by the next day listening to Vince Cable talking about funding for the universities and the Lord Browne report that is sure to be challenging. Unlike previous years, there is a real sense of urgency that things need to happen now.

Further, from an outside prospective, I think it is important that institutions are seen to be proactive in this.

With this in mind I have come up with what is important to get in place to help universities follow up from the IWMW10: Here are my suggestions- feedback, as ever, is essential:

1. Creating a structured program for showing value for certain areas of your online site

One point that became clear at the event and subsequently is that although the talk was a good starting point, more detailed examples of providing value would be helpful. It still feel that in many areas the true value of what the online university community is doing is undervalued and perceived as difficult to communicate. I will be looking at giving examples of how to provide a detailed value analysis of:

  • Prospective postgraduate students applications
  • •Mobile Apps
  • •Particular sections of a site (eg Editorial)
  • Providing more detailed scoring of events on the site and its reporting

2. Getting together “meaningful” institutional statistics.

 

Before I left for Australia in 2006 we were providing Sector Statistics for 22 universities at IWMW 2006 and around 40 before I left. What I am hoping to do is pick that up and carry on with it, but this time actually providing more meaningful reports for the community. All reports will be aggregated data and used basically for:

a. benchmarking so to provide background for the statistics communicated

b. To provide “industry standard” statistics for use when their own institutions statistics are not available.

Example of these reports would be:

  • average monthly applications online
  • average applications per country per month
  • average applications per site section (undergraduate/postgraduate/international)
  • average level of use for mobile application by current students

These reports would obviously start with the basic reports and grow in number and complexity over time. New reports could be sourced from the community as to what is required at differing times.

I will be sending an email out asking organisations to join, but if you could register your interest that would be a helpful start.

3. “Kick Start Day”: A day per institution

 

I am also mindful that experience has taught me that getting going on something like this is often hard and can get sidelined when the everyday issues come knocking. Often a kick is needed to build up the velocity to get reporting.

With this is mind I am proposing is a “Kick Start Day”. This would be a day per university where we would go through the process and at the end provide a one page report as a template they can follow. We would go through:

  • what they would like to report on
  • how to get the relevant data out
  • Create and a one page report.

I would be providing this at cost service and limited to a one per week on a first come first served basis.

Summary

So, this is my plan to get going, as you can imagine it does entail a fair amount of work and commitment from my side so really need to know whether it is worth it. Working with the Universities in the past I know that we can do some amazing things and create new reporting and systems.

What I ideally like to know:

1. Do you think a structured schema of measuring value for parts of your online would be valuable?

2. Would you be provisionally interested in the sector analysis and statistics?

3. Would you be provisionally interested in the Kick Start Day?

4. Is there anything I have missed that you think would be important?

Look forward to your comments and ideas. Leave them here or email ranjit@sidspace.info or twitter: @rssidhu