5 Excel Power Tips To Manage Your School Admission Data

Admissions

The new admission season is upon us and once again schools have to go through the mammoth task of handling the inflow of information about the prospective new admissions including actual conversions, pending decisions and final rejections.  To manage all this data and make meaning out of it, schools usually take help of excel, it being one of the easiest data management tools available today but however proficient the tools, there are issues that inevitably creep in when the inflow of data is too massive or too fast.

The problem magnifies with multiple users handling the data input and access at various stages, leading to inconsistency and inadvertent errors that creep into the records creating long term troubles for the authorities. These issues, nevertheless, are avoidable. There are certain tips, which are often overlooked but can go a long way in enhancing the efficiency of the data management process. Based on our experience at Schoolpad, below are a few quick Excel tips that are specifically helpful for the schools and the kind of records they have to deal with:

(1)  Color Highlighting  :   The school records, including the massive input of information that needs to be searched and sorted during the admission season, are often daunting to sift through. One of the easiest ways to manage this problem is colour highlighting. For instance, the records containing the new admission data can be colour coded based on the students who have been admitted, rejected or are still pending. Segregating such information by highlighting them in different colours not only makes the records look more appealing, organized and easy on the eyes but also gives a sense of segregation/categorization of information in a single glance. New data becomes easier to sort and search in the first instance itself, enhancing not only the speed but also the accuracy of the process.


 

(2)  Data Validation for information like mobile numbers and emails :  In this digital age of communication, the good old handwritten notes sent out to parents tucked in the students’ diaries are a thing of the past. Much as we like the nostalgia of those notes, we have to admit that modern means of communications like a quick SMS on the parent’s cell or an email are far more convenient. Except when the records get the mobile number wrong. Or include invalid email ids. It is ridiculously easy to miss a digit here or an @ there when a large amount of data is being entered into the Excel sheets manually—often by multiple users. Click here to see a quick animation of how you can apply these validations.

Email Validation Formula: =AND(FIND(“@”,E1),FIND(“.”,E1),ISERROR(FIND(” “,E1)))

(3)  Drop Down Menus : Massive amount of data being recorded manually in Excel sheets by multiple users is usually a norm in most schools. The inevitable fall out are inaccuracies in basic spellings and inconsistencies like using different prevalent names for the same locality while entering the addresses of the students. Apart from accuracy, uniformity is fundamental for any reliable data recording mechanism and hence, schools need to create systems that ensure this uniformity. Here’s how you can user DROPDOWN MENUS to standardize information like city, locality specifics like names and sectors etc. Once the Drop Down Menu is created, all a user needs to do is choose the relevant option, thus avoiding spelling errors as well as uniformity issues.

 

(4)  Automatic Age Calculation : When it comes to schools and their information records, age calculation is one of the hotbeds of germinating inaccuracy. Irrespective of how efficient or careful the manual users are, it is very hard to foolproof this specifically when the admission data is being entered real quick during the admission season. Moreover, student’s age is one of the most important factors that determines a child’s admission in the right class and hence is one of the most critical factors for Schools as well. Here’s how you can generate the age of a child while entering the record and validate it with the class he/she is being entered:

Age Generation Formula:
=IF(D2,DATEDIF(D2,TODAY(),”Y”) & ” Years, ” & DATEDIF(D2,TODAY(),”YM”) & ” Months, ” & DATEDIF(D2,TODAY(),”MD”) & ” Days”,”") 

 

(5)  Student Counter : One of the unique challenges that schools have to face while managing admission records is to keep track of the maximum number of students allowed in any class. While selecting a class for which the student is seeking admission, the user has to keep track of the threshold and ensure that students are evenly distributed across various classes or sections without exceeding the upper limit for any class. This is essential not only while making note of the admission enquiries but also at the time when it is converted into an admission. Straightforward as it sounds, it might become a challenge when the data is relatively large and if the user has to keep manually checking the threshold again and again, it makes the whole process tedious and inefficient. Here’s how you can keep a check on the number of inquiries or admissions on the fly:

 

Our intent behind combining this list of excel data management tips is to give you a springboard to get you started on managing your data better during this admission season and coping up with all those frequent inconsistencies that have been troubling you since years and reducing the efficiency of your data collection efforts. Hope you find it useful.