Exclusive content

Logged in users benefit from exclusive intelligence and analysis including premium reports, monthly source market information, on-the-ground intelligence, and IDP research.


Don't have an account? Register

Helping our clients achieve their strategic goals is central to our mission at IDP Connect, and our IQ Team is a key component of this important process. 

Through the development of various data products and services, including IQ Subscription, IQ Consultancy, and our new IQ Analytics service, the IQ Team have built a diverse portfolio that clients can rely on to help inform their recruitment and marketing efforts, and ensure they stand out in the highly competitive market of international education. 

That said, online databases are numerous and there is indeed a wealth of information readily available for any institution to access. So, what makes IQ datasets stand out? What makes IQ's services so extraordinarily essential and unique compared with other external datasets?

We spoke with IDP Connect's Head of Intelligence and Analytics, Samir Shah, to discuss the IQ Team's essential role, how IQ data and services work, and why helping clients – and students – achieve their goals is so rewarding.

Tell us about your role in the IQ Team? What does the average day look like for you?

As the Head of Intelligence & Analytics at IDP Connect, my team and I have a simple but powerful goal: to help our clients and organisation make informed decisions using data to achieve strategic goals.

Over the past three years, we've successfully developed various data products and services that have been well-received by our clients. We take pride in creating and managing self-service data analytics products, delivering thought leadership, consultancy, and analytics services, and developing new data products and services that assist clients with student recruitment and portfolio challenges.

We're dedicated to continuously innovating and improving, and each team member is motivated to learn and grow. Through our emphasis on teamwork and collaboration across IDP and with our clients, we're able to provide the most comprehensive data analytics services in the higher education sector.

Can you please give us a quick brief rundown of our IQ tools and services and why they should be an integral part of an institution’s recruitment and marketing strategy?

More students than ever are considering multiple destinations for their studies, each with unique attractions. As a result, the competition among educational institutions has increased significantly. It can be challenging for institutions to ensure they have a diverse portfolio mix while developing effective recruitment and marketing strategies to attract and engage international students.

We understand how overwhelming it can be to navigate the world of higher education. That's why our platform is designed to support students every step of the way. From when they start their online search to when they arrive on campus, we're here to help. The platform provides us with a wealth of data that, combined with our expert insights, helps institutions make informed decisions on their recruitment and marketing strategies.

We offer three exceptional services: IQ Subscription, IQ Analytics, and IQ Consultancy. Our cutting-edge IQ Subscription provides real-time data and analytical tools that offer unparalleled insights into students' study intentions up to two years before enrolling. The IQ Analytics service provides in-depth reports from our sector and data experts to enhance the subscription services, ensuring our clients receive the most comprehensive insights. Lastly, our IQ Consultancy delivers customised full-funnel strategic analysis using our complete range of unique data sources, analytics, and expertise to help clients optimise their student recruitment strategies.

IQ Services offer institutions data-driven insights, market intelligence, and strategic support to improve their recruitment efforts for international students. By utilising these services, universities can stay competitive, attract suitable students, and optimise their recruitment strategies for better results.

Tell us about how this data is obtained and how you work with IDP counsellors to get real-time, local market insights?

Our datasets are the most extensive in the world in covering the end-to-end international student experience. We collect and analyse:

  • 2.8m+ student course search records from our sites per month

  • 500k+ student applications via our counsellor network per year

  • 100k+ international course fees every year

  • Numerous other destination-specific VISA & enrolment data sets (e.g. HESA, IPEDS, IRCC, DESE, etc)

IDP counsellors interact with students on a daily basis, providing them with a unique insight into student drivers. Through data gathered from counsellor network interviews and surveys, we help client institutions understand opportunities and, most importantly, recommend how to optimise their recruitment strategies in their target markets.

Our customised counsellor research provides clients with on-the-ground intelligence on various aspects of international education, including the perception of the institution's reputation in the market, the appeal of their program and scholarship offerings, and their recruitment performance compared to their competition.

There is so much information and data available to institutions at their fingertips – what makes our IQ datasets so extraordinarily unique compared to other external datasets?

At IDP, we have a wide-ranging network and global presence that allows us to gather data from various markets. This provides us with a comprehensive understanding of international student trends, preferences, and behaviours on a global scale. Our datasets are derived from a vast and continuously updated student information database, which includes student enquiries, course choices, institutions of interest, and more. We regularly update the database to ensure the data remains relevant and reflects current market dynamics in real time.

Unlike other datasets that are usually 12-24 months outdated, we offer up-to-date information. We use advanced analytics, data science techniques, and intuitive visualisations to help clients derive actionable insights from our self-serve tools. In addition, our team of analysts and researchers, who are destination experts, specialise in interpreting the data, identifying trends, and providing valuable intelligence to institutions. Our data-driven approach ensures that institutions can make informed decisions based on evidence and trends.

In your opinion, what is your favourite IQ feature and why?

Institutions need to be aware of their competition at every stage of a student's journey. By utilising our data, we can determine if students have explored other programs or institutions, engaged with similar content, or applied elsewhere. We can also identify if they ultimately decided to attend a different institution than they initially considered.

Diversity has become a big focus for clients who want to grow their international education strategies. What role does IQ play in driving these diversification strategies?

We play an essential role in helping institutions analyse data, gain insights, and develop targeted strategies to diversify their student populations. Our data helps clients identify which source markets to focus on, but diversity goes beyond a student's country of origin. Our granular data, down to the city level, allows for regional diversity to be considered. Additionally, our tools and services can assist institutions in diversifying by targeting students interested in specific programs or sub-disciplines. By utilising our IQ resources, institutions can foster inclusivity, expand their reach, and create a welcoming environment for students from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

Can you please tell us more about IQ’s latest service on offer, IQ Analytics, and its value to clients?

Our IQ Analytics service is the perfect solution for clients who are short on time or resources for data analysis. Our in-house sector and data experts, armed with our unique data sets, deliver up to four comprehensive reports within a 12-month period. These reports provide exclusive insights and intelligence beyond our standard subscription services.

We understand our client's unique needs and challenges, so we personalise each report to suit their specific institution. Furthermore, we go above and beyond by incorporating additional data sources such as sector data, IDP application and enrolment data, and other datasets we can access. Our IQ Analytics service offers clients the most comprehensive and tailored analysis.

Supporting students in their study abroad experiences is at the heart of what we do, what gives you meaning working at IDP and in the international education sector?

Working at IDP and in the international education field is incredibly important to me. As someone who was the first in my family to pursue higher education, I understand first-hand the challenges that many students face. It's incredibly rewarding to work for an organisation that helps support and guide students from all backgrounds and helps them overcome obstacles to achieve their goals. Through education, these students gain the knowledge and skills they need to shape their own future and contribute to a more connected and improved world. By bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures, we can create a more diverse and interconnected world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Vincent Dwyer pfp
Vincent Dwyer28 June 2023