The first webcast in our series on The Best Practices in Program Portfolio Evaluation focused on Student Demand. Our goal was to help you understand how to get and use Google data, Inquiry volumes, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) completions, and geo-spatial analysis to assess demand for your programs. Importantly, we also explained the weaknesses in each of these datasets, so you can use them safely. As an example, IPEDS completions are a measure of student demand; however, Bachelor's degree completers started school 4-8 years ago, so trends in IPEDS appear years after they have occurred. On the other hand, search data is more current (but has its own issues).
AUDIO START: [0:00:00]
Mark Keleher: Good afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining Gray’s webcast on Program Portfolio Design. Today, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at student demand for academic programs and how to assess the viability of individual academic programs by location. So, a few quick housekeeping items here. On the left-hand side of the page you will have a chat box and please feel free to share any thoughts or ask any questions along the way.
And please do remember that at the end of the webcast there will be a post-meeting survey, and in the upper right-hand corner, the slides from today’s presentation will be available for download, and we will also be sharing a recording of today’s webcast afterwards for all of the participants. So, thanks again everybody for joining, and without further ado, I will pass it over to our CEO, Bob Atkins.
Bob Atkins: Welcome, and thank you Mark. Today, as Mark mentioned, we will be looking at program portfolio design, and we will be focusing specifically on the question of how do you evaluate the market for a an academic program, in particular, the student demand for that program.
Goals for Today’s Session
The goals for today are to share best practices with you on what makes this hard, a challenge, provide you a framework for evaluating markets for programs, and then we’ll talk about the specific data sources, uses, and limitations of the most commonly used information on student demand. Of course, one of the challenges here is you’ve got to define what your market is, and we’ll give you some ideas about how to do that, and finally put it all together and share with you an integrated approach to understanding student demand for programs.
Agenda - The Challenge
The first step in this is to understand what you’re up against.
Thousands of Potential Programs…
The first step in this is to understand what you’re up against. As many of you know who are involved in the program selection process, there are many, many options for new programs. They vary by degree level, they vary by type of institution, but even with the given institution and degree level, there’s lots of choices you have to make and lots of opinions about what the best choices are. In many cases, they’ll be ideas that are very, very small, or ones that don’t have much opportunity in terms of employment or for which there is no known demand, but nonetheless, they have to be taken seriously to some extent, because otherwise the process itself gets challenged as being unfair, unbalanced. Which creates a real problem for the folks who are involved in this. It requires research into many, many programs, potentially, and if one’s not taken care of, it can create a problem for all the rest, from a stakeholder’s standpoint.
Hundreds of Possibilities for Data
Second, in addition to having all those programs, everybody thinks they know a good metric. Whether that’s for student demand, or employment, or competition, they have their favorite, and they want to make sure you’ve looked at that. And often their favorite is some sort of local opinion, preferably theirs in that process, but it could be the opinion of a local employer, it could be the opinion of the local board of trade, it could be a program that’s offered by a nearby school, looking at competition. So there are lots of possibilities you might want to look at for data, some of which as we’ll talk about, are better than others.
Dozens of Stakeholders
Another one of the major challenges is that there are literally hundreds of stakeholders in a college or university who have a say in what should be looked at and what ultimately will be decided. And you leave them at a ? risk, so if you do this it’s very important to set a common understanding of what data should be used and to find an open and honest way of sharing that information with people and involving them in the decision-making process. And we’ll talk more about that in our next webinar, but it’s certainly a challenge across the entire program selection process as well as specifically the question of demand that we’ll focus on today, student demand in particular, with people even questioning whether it’s relevant, on to people who understand it’s essential to the ongoing health of the university. So, thinking through how to handle those stakeholders and what they want is another critical piece.
Agenda - A Framework for Evaluating Markets for Programs
Now, as we get into it, the first thing we need is a common vocabulary, if you will, for talking about the market for an academic program. And what we’ll share next is a framework we’ve developed so that everyone can get on the same page in terms of what you actually need to look at when you evaluate a program
Market Evaluation Framework
This really addresses that question of all the favorite data. We group it into four broad categories: student demand, employment opportunities, competitive intensity, and finally, a strategic fit. Most of those are self-evident. Strategic fit, generally, for us, means fit with the mission of the university and also fit with the degree levels that you may offer. You’re not going to want a program if you’re a 2-year college that requires a PhD or for which all of student demand is for higher-level degrees, so we look at that as a separate item.
Today, we’re going to drill down on student demand and talk about how you evaluate your local market and understand whether students are interested in the programs that you have or are considering.
Agenda - Data Sources, Uses, and Limitations
Now, that leads us to data sources and limitations.
The main data sources here are well-known. Google is certainly one of them. We’ll talk about that. It’s a great source for information, it’s got it’s own unique issues. IPEDS, The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, another interesting source that keeps completion data for all Title IV programs at higher education institutions, which is, by and large, all programs, although there are some very specific exceptions there. And finally, one that we’ve developed, we call GrayReports, which includes inquiry data for several hundred programs. And we’ll talk more about that. That actually gives you live student inquiries so you can understand how many people in your market have inquired about a given program in the recent past.
So, in combination, we believe these three give you a pretty robust view of short and long-term demand. But let me take a minute and talk about what each one is, how you get it, and how you can use it safely.
First is Google. And as many of you know, you can go in and find Google Trends, and you can separately, and add in the ad-based part of the business, look at keywords and specific search volumes. Let’s look at each of those in a little more depth.
Google trends is pretty interesting. You can compare just about anything. Interest in laundry and MBA if you want. Generally speaking, we stick to academic programs. But, if you look at the chart below, there’s some interesting attributes in the chart. We’re looking at several years of data, 2012 through the end 2015, and the line is very jagged. That’s because you get specific data each month for each program, which is great. You could also compare the relative size of programs. Here, you can see the MBA, the search term specifically MBA, and the Bachelor’s of Business Administration, and see the differential volume for each of those.
Now, there’s a catch. If you look at the left axis, you’re not getting actual search volumes, you’re getting an index of search volumes. So, the only way you can really interpret this data is to put in a search you are familiar with and then look at the magnitude of that search compared to the other searches you are running. So, it’s an indexed level of volume, and as such, you’re not getting really precise information about a specific number of searches for the program you may be considering.
Trends: Limited Detail
There’s another serious limitation here as well, which is, Google data tends to tap out. So, if you get really detailed and you want to look at a program, and you want to understand what the volume is for that program in your market, often you’re going to get this screen: “Hmm, your search doesn’t doesn’t have enough data to show here.” Which is, as you might imagine, not enormously helpful. And this is actually a very large program and it’s a real search run today, on medical assisting, and we tried to pull data by cities in Pennsylvania. And just to give you an idea here, Pennsylvania, of course, is one of the largest states in the US, and medical assisting is one of the largest programs in the US, so if that’s run out, chances are almost anything you can think of is going to give you this error message in your specific market. And that’s really the issue here. You can get macro trends, but it’s hard to get specific to the market you serve.
There’s another resource, though, that can do a little bit better for you, and that’s Google AdWords. Your institution undoubtedly has a Google AdWords account, or your agency does. Quite honestly, you can set one up for yourself with a credit card. You don’t ever need to spend any money. And then you can start to look for specific search terms and it’ll give you more detail, it’ll give you the actual volume of searches in your market, and the breakdown of those searches by geographic location.
Student Demand Data: Google AdWords
So, a little bit more detailed can actually give you trend data, that I’ll turn to now, so you can actually see what the trend is for the search terms that you’ve entered. But, here again, none of these data sources are perfect. You do have some issues. When you look at Google Trends information in Google AdWords, you have to know which term to search off of. And you hope that that term is, if you will, unambiguous. And the reason I say unambiguous, is, registered nurse could be searches for registered nursing programs, could also be programs for a registered nurse that you want to come work at your hospital or that you might want to come to your home. Think of medical assisting. It could be a search for a job in medical assisting or for a program to teach medical assisting.
And you can use more refined search terms, but there’s almost always going to be some ambiguity in what that person was actually searching for, and therefore in the volume of searches you’re looking at. And the second problem, of course, is you personally, or whoever is doing the research, needs to know which keywords are relevant. Often that leads you back to your ad agency who’s doing this for you everyday and you can put the keywords in.
So, if you’re good enough with keyword search, you can get pretty accurate on this, but remember there’s likely to be a little bit of dirt in the data, if you will. Still, when we look at this and look at relative volumes, unless there’s something unusual going on, I would expect that trend to be accurate. And if you’ve got a good set of keywords, you’re going to be pretty close to the actual number of searches in your market.
And, of course, you’ve got a challenge, which is that there’s some ratio between searches and students, which again, going through your agency or marketing group in admissions, you might be able to figure out to translate those searches to actual opportunity for your school.
But there’s one more catch. If you go in and try to get Google Search volume at scale for more than one program, for example, or more than one campus, or for the 20 or 30 programs you might want to consider when you’re thinking about new programs, or the 50 to 100 programs you have right now, all of a sudden you’ve got a problem. You have to pull a lot of data on dozens of keywords for each program. And for those of you who immediately left to what we did, which was, let’s create an automated process for doing that, Google will throw you out in about five minutes if they suspect the searches have been automated. And that leads you back, trying to gather all that information by hand, breach geography, breach program, so it’s a bit tedious to do if you’re not doing it one program at a time.
The other thing we found as we began to pull this data ourselves is that Google smoothes a lot of it. So, we had that nice line that showed variation by month when we looked at trends. When you try to pull this data in bulk what you find is that they’ll level it out. And to me, you look at this chart, and it shows you actual search volumes for a particular program, actually for 200 that we were searching on, and you can see that for March and April across all 200 of those programs at 20 keywords each, the volumes were identical from one month to another.
And the only thing that you can be certain of in this world is that’s not correct, and that there was some level in variation of search volumes, and Google smoothed this out. Which is not necessarily incorrect, in the sense that the difference between March and April may have been statistically insignificant. Or google smoothed it in some way that was useful to them and reduced the server time, but is not precisely correct.
So, just be aware that in their doing that, when you start to pull this data, especially if you’re pulling any data in volume, they’ll tend to do all sorts of smoothing to it that may or may not be precisely correct for your program. That’s not to say Google data is not valuable, it is, but as with all other data sources we’ll talk about, it certainly has its limitations, but it’s closely tied to your actual results as well, in terms of most of the students that you’re going to get are going to search for you on Google at one time or another.
Now, one stage further into the funnel, that is, after search but before a start, students actually inquire. And that inquiry data can give us a really good current view of program size and trends. It also has issues which I’ll cover in a moment. Where do inquiries come from? In our experience there are basically three sources. In this example, you can see UNC’s Flager School of Business, and that’s their direct website. And many people will search that by name knowing about them and land directly on their site. So, you can go to your site administrator and see what kind of volume you’re getting for a given program. And people may be even hitting you looking for programs you don’t have, and much of that information will be collected on your website, then you can look at it. And, again, if you’re not looking at it, your agency may be able to grab that for you.
The second source of information is your agency. And they may have additional data, whether that’s Google Search data, or, in many cases, they may be pulling those search terms and looking at them across a variety of clients, and they can give you information about overall search volumes for a given program, perhaps in your market. Again, when you get to agencies, their data may run out pretty quickly when you try and get very specific. But the good thing about agencies is they also can go in there and look at it, and understand the relationship between search volumes, for example, and how many students might actually search for you or take a program. So, they can be a valuable source for information.
The third, many aggregators exist in the market. Many of you may not be familiar with an aggregator. What you see here in the image is actually an image from an aggregator site. And you can see, if you search the term MBA, this is actually the third listing in Google. A couple of specific programs were ahead of it, for example, the UNC program. But when you look at this carefully, you’ll see it is not for any particular school. It actually lists three different schools as sponsors. And what they do is, they capture your information here, and then they turn around and sell that information to a school that offers an MBA program. So, that’s why they’re called aggregators. They aggregate demand then sell it to individual schools.
In our case, we actually collect data from two of these sources, agencies and aggregators, and we’ve got about 50 million records in that database, so it’s pretty deep. And we can do that and compare it over time. Our data, too, is a sample, so it, too, is not absolutely complete, but it can be done at a very local level, it’s current to the month, and it’s precise about what it’s got. But precise, as I say, does not mean complete, so we don’t have everything in this data set.
The other thing we found, is that there are certain other types of programs that are not included in the data. One specific instance that we identified, the term Liberal Arts, is usually not inquired about. So, we're not going to see that inquiry. Similarly, if you actually go in and look at the next one, IPEDS completions, you’ll find that truck driving schools aren't included there, and other programs that are sub-degree level may or may not be included in IPEDS. So, each one has its own unique idiosyncrasies. And that's one of the reasons we suggest that you look at two or three sources, not just one. There's a very deep set of data that's available all the way back to 2012. We actually do a report on this each month, so if you want to understand what's going on in the market, you're welcome to join us in that monthly webinar. We include this when we look at programs so we can understand how many actual inquiries there are for a given program at a given point in time, and what the trends are.
US Map of Inquiries
The nice part about this is you can drill down. This is just an illustration of a state-level map. You can see the density, if you will, of inquiries from each state. We can also do this and look at it in terms of inquiries per capita, so you can understand, really, what the incidence is per person, and often that doesn't trend the way you see here. What you're seeing here, essentially, is the electoral college votes in each state and how big they are. And often times when you look at it in a little bit more detail, you find interesting trends about what's going on with inquiries at the local level. For example, when you look at online inquiries, what you find is that the inquires per capita go up in more rural areas. So, while the total inquiries won't go up in rural areas, because there are relatively few people, the actual incidence of inquiries in a rural area may be higher than it would be in a large metro area where that student has a number of on-ground choices for the same program.
Drill-Down on a State (FL)
So, there is lots of information that can be gleaned from this if you dig down into it. Most particularly, you can look in and understand your specific market, so you don't have to rely on a source that, in this case, we'll call Florida and Tampa, that may group Tampa in a certain way, you can actually come into the data set. It's all kept by census tract as we keep all our data and you can identify the specific market you serve and look at the demand in that market. And we’ll touch on that more later. It’s also very useful, by the way, for thinking about where to locate a campus. Obviously, this physically shows you where the demand may be for programs.
Student Demand Data: Completions
Now, let's turn to another data source and that is the government database, IPEDS, The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. It's a mouthful, but it's a wonderful resource. IPEDS includes all completions from school’s that receive Title IV aid, or government financial aid, which in essence covers almost all 4-year colleges, almost all 2-year colleges, and there are some trade schools that aren't in it because they don't collect Title IV, but even most trade schools are going to be in here as well. So, it's a very complete data set. There are a couple of specific programs you may not find. I mentioned trucking. Many cosmetology programs don't have Title IV accreditation, but outside of that it’s got just about everybody in it. And it has historical data running back all the way into the '90s. There have been a couple changes in the techtonomy, so it's a little harder to make comparisons that go back beyond a certain point, but certainly back to 2010 the data is internally consistent and very deep.
Now, the key in IPEDS is, you can actually go down and look at it by location, school program, and degree level. So, in this instance, we're looking at registered nursing again and you can see who's offering it. This is for one specific market in the US, so you know they're all in your local area, and you can see how big each one of them is and what the overall trend is in nursing completions, which is actually pretty nice. You can see here that in 2010 there were 2,700 nurses, graduating in 2014 there are 3,500 nurses graduating, approximately. Now, there's a catch, which is, if you are trying to understand trends, the data in IPEDS is significantly out of date. So, why is that?
Well, first, the most recent year for which my IPEDS data is available is the graduating class in the summer of 2015. So, right away we're two years out-of-date. But then you have to stop and think and say, "When did those people actually make their decision to go to school?" And if you're a 2-year college, that decision was made two to four years earlier. So, that would be six years out-of-date. If you're a 4-year college, that decision was made four to eight years earlier, depending on how quickly those students graduated. So, now you're almost 10 years out of sync between when that demand actually took place and a trend took place, and what you're seeing now in a completion. So, the biggest problem we see with IPEDS is just this issue of datedness. The information is just not about the current market. It's really about market events that took place years ago. Nonetheless, it's comprehensive. It's roughly right in terms of the data you're seeing and you generally don't see such enormous changes in programs that this data’s going to be incorrect in terms of, for example, the overall five-book program. If you compared it to another program, they’re likely to maintain the same ratio over time. Now, not always, and most programs when we look at ’13, ’14, and ’15, are shrinking, so, nursing would be an anomaly and getting bigger than others at that point. So, that's one of the big issues with IPEDS, just something you need to be aware of. It's still a good data source, but it's not a current data source, if you will.
National Student Demand Metrics: Auto Mechanic (CIP 47.0604)
Now, once you grab some data and you’re looking at inquiries, and we just talked about completions, you kind of have another problem here, which is, you get the numbers and they're a little bit difficult to interpret. So, for example here, we have inquiries, a total of 100,802 inquiries for this particular program. Year over year, we've got an 8,690 additional inquiries and 9.4% growth. For completions, you can see there are 39,721, which is wonderful, but it's going down a little bit, down 664. But the problem I have with these charts is, is 100,000 a lot? What market are we talking about? If this is the country, that might be a lot or a little, I don't really know off-hand, and I look at this data all the time, I don't know if a 9.4% change is actually a very large change relative to other programs or markets, or more the norm. Although, I think we all know with percent growth it hasn't been very good, so we can guess that 9.4 is a good number. But without any context, it's very difficult to interpret these numbers. And that is a challenge when you're doing program analytics, because it means that if you look at one program at a time, it's difficult to tell whether it's a good program or a great program, or maybe not a very good program at all because you need comparators. You need something to put these numbers in context. And, we learn this the hard way, as, unfortunately, we learn a lot of things.
And, what we found is, is that we now pull data from many programs, and this may be beyond your reaches of school. We actually pull every program in IPEDS and compare it, and get all our data aligned by program. But you might be able to pull, for example, all you current programs, and look at those to understand and put in context each of the numbers that you're getting. So, for example, here we can look at past-year inquiries and see that at the 98th percentile, the left axis here is percentile, that that starts at 80,000 inquiries. 81,000, really. And anything above that is going to be in the top 2% of all programs. And just FYI, for us, we keep about 1,500 programs in our database. That's all programs that have an IPEDS zip code.
So, that allows you to interpret 100,000, yes, that really is a big number. It's one of the top 2% of all programs in the United States. Then, you can look at the change and interpret that. Now, the change here at 8,690 is not quite as highly ranked. It’s only at the 95th percentile or higher. So, 9.4% is good, but not quite as good as this program is big.
Now, we turn to some of the growth numbers in the year-over-year inquiry growth and the percent change. We’ve done the same thing,and it allows you to see where this stacks up. For example, on completions, at 39,721, it's almost exactly at the 98th percentile, and year-over-year change in completions, it's down in the bottom, below the 10th percentile in terms of change. So, something unfortunate is going on in terms of the level of inquiries. Again, probably harkening back several years in the IPEDS data.
So, this allows you to put those numbers in context and better understand what they mean. In this case, we know it's a very large program. Current inquiry volume is up, the long-term trend may be down. And, the other thing that's important here, is, we're actually getting here some inconsistencies between the data sets, which is why we pull more than one. We know the long-term trend has been down, the short-term trend is up, which is useful to know that there's inconsistency there, so you might not want to bet the ranch on this particular program if you're worried about the change in volume of inquiries. If your primary concern is, “Is it big enough?” The answer to that is yes, and it's probably consistent across both inquiries and completions.
Here, you can see it's above the 98th percentile in terms of overall size in both sources. So, a couple of things here. Absolutely try to put your numbers in context. Compare them to current programs, or, as we do here, to all programs. The second point is, please get more than one source of data for any piece of information you use for program analysis. Each of these sources has it’s issues, and only by putting them together can you begin to understand what the safest opinion is about this program, given the inconsistent perspective each one of these sources may give you.
Agenda - Market Definition
So, with that, let's turn to another central question in this process, which is, it's all well and good to pull data and to evaluate markets, but really a step in that process that's vital, is to define what market you're getting.
Market Definition - Map Demand
And typically that's got a geographic dimension. And we're going to focus here on pulling the data for a physical on-ground program. It's actually much easier when you go online, you just pull all the data for the country, typically, or maybe within 60 miles of your campus since most schools' online programs are going to draw primarily from an area about 60 miles around the campus. At least that's our experience. We do know that your geographic drawing area varies by school, and here you can see the actual data for a school no longer in business, so that's why we can use it. But you can look at our start data, and this is actually distributed for each of the campuses, is a different color. And what this allows you to understand is — you look at the Chicago market — what area do they really serve? And there's a bit of art in this. But first is science.
Market Definition: Distance Analysis
You take that data and look at it, geocode it, first of all. And you can do that with any good mapping program. I believe you can probably do it in Google Maps as well, now, if you understand how to use their API. We often use a piece of software called Tactition. We run all the student addresses through it, and then Tactition calculates the distance from each of those students to the main campus, or whichever campus you're looking at. And typically, you're going to end up with a curve that looks a little bit like this. And what you can see on the blue bar is what percentage of students are coming from that particular band of miles. So, 10% of the students in this particular school are coming within zero to five miles of the campus, another 18% are coming from within five to ten miles, and so forth, the biggest group are coming within the band within 10 to 15 miles of the campus. One trick to watch out for here is, remember that looks like the same amount of square mileage in each case. It is not, and it's beyond my geometry to remember, but you've got 𝛑r2 operating here, so the number of square miles, and therefore, likely the population that's within 10 to 15 miles, is going to be a rough order of magnitude, about double, the same number of the population within five to ten, because the circle is so much larger.
And, what you can do with this, is, if you look at it, you can find the point where the number of incremental students coming to your school is starting to diminish. And it needs batches at the beginning. We're running 13 point growth for each 5-mile band and by the time we get out to 30 miles, we're down to 3% growth and we're going to get 2% or 3% for every five miles we add after that. Sometimes, we'll run this all the way up to 91%, but in this case I'd look at this and say, look, I don't want to bring in a bunch of territory that's marginally relevant. I'm getting some students, but not a lot. So, I would tend to cut this for students at about 30 to 35 miles for this particular case. Sometimes it's more, sometimes it's much less. You could be getting 80 or 90 percent of your students at some schools within 15 miles of the campus, but what you use this for is to make a judgement call as to the market area you want to define, and therefore, pull data from.
Core Market Definiton
Once you've done that, we go in and we would draw radii and define a primary market, perhaps a secondary market as you can see here in green. The primary market might be blue. Think of that as everything between 10 or 15 miles from the campus, green going out a little bit further. And if you want to include yellow, and you might include it for certain analyses and not for others, you can. And then what you’re going to do is pull data for each of those definitions, and as I mentioned in our case, we pull it by census tract, and we draw these little boxes on this particular map.
Agenda - Integrated Approach
So, that’s really all your data sources.
Integrated, High-Capacity System
And we suggest pulling those together into an integrated, high-capacity system that will understand the demand for your programs in your local market.
So, what data are you going to pull? Well, you're going to pull Google Search data, and, as I mentioned, you can go to Google Trends or you can capture that data from Google AdWords. I strongly recommend looking at IPEDS, but remember, it's going to be dated, but still helpful in understanding both the market and your competition. And finally, the data that we have, GrayReports, which is very current, and, again, has some coverage issues in certain programs, but gives you a very good look at current demand by program in your market for most programs offered by academic institutions.
Then you've got to shrink that down based on your market definition and pull that data just for the markets you care about. And, regrettably, you're going to have to pull this all into a system. Some of this data can make Excel break; it depends on how you put it in. So, we suggest creating a database for it, perhaps. We use a business intelligence database and the reason we do that is the particular database that we use actually keeps all its data in memory rather than storing it on disk. Well, it also stores it on disk, but when it's doing calculations, it's got the data in memory, and that means the searches and the analyses run, call it a hundred times faster than they would if you were doing the same search on a more traditional, hard-disk driven database.
So, we use that and we created applications, you might do this as well, within the BI App, that allows us to look at that data, to color code and so forth, so that you can understand what's going on in the market for your program.
That's really the end of today's presentation on assessing student demand for programs. I want to encourage all of you to join us on March 2nd. We'll be running our second webinar, and this one will cover employment opportunities, how to collect that information, and how to analyze it to help you understand whether your students are going to be able to get a job when they graduate. That will be March 2nd at 2pm. That will be followed on the 30th by a webinar on Competition and Degree Fit. That will be held on March 30th, again at 2pm. And finally, we'll share with you some insights on how to make these decisions effectively with your management team. That will be run on April 27th at 2pm, again.
So, let me stop and turn the floor over to questions. I welcome any questions you may have. We got any?
Mark Keleher: Just a few more minutes here, and we'll see if we have any questions and then we'll go ahead and end the webcast when the slides will be available for download in the upper right hand corner.
Bob Atkins: So, I encourage you to ask questions now. You can also reach out to us separately by call or email. My phone number is 617-366-2836 and you can reach us on grayassociates.com, either to MarkKeleher or Bob.Atkins, both @grayassociates.com. We’d be glad to answer any questions you may have.
Moderator: So, one question that's come in so far, is, we had someone ask, "How would you judge demand with a national market, such as with online institutions?"
Bob Atkins: What we do with the national market is the same process. It's just our market definition is the US as a whole. And typically, we'll break that down as well and look at it by state, perhaps for a few metro areas, because often times, even for an online program, there's very specific geographies that may be more productive than others. So, fundamentally, we start by pulling all the data for the country, then we divide that up into blocks that make sense for our client, to see if we can identify any particular areas where they should be marketing that program more aggressively. Other questions?
Well, thank you all for joining us. Again, I encourage all of you to reach out if you need to and please visit our website. There's more information there. And, as Mark said, when the conference is over, there will be a questionnaire and you’re welcome to download the charts and god forbid, listen to the recording. Thank you.
AUDIO END: [00:34:58]
Posted by Mark Keleher on Feb 20, 2017 11:36:00 AM