September 6th, 2021

Why Are Footfall Analytics Important to Schools and Colleges?

Schools and universities provide a lot more than education. They are places where young people learn, socialize, keep fit, and do much more. 

Thousands of students pass through high school and college buildings daily. This makes maintaining the structure and staffing them adequately a challenge. 

Footfall counting and footfall analytics help academic institutions better understand how students use these spaces. You can also use this information to enhance student experiences and build your academic brand value.

Furthermore, footfall analytics also helps academic institutions ensure that everything runs smoothly. In fact, accurate data is critical to a whole host of challenges.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s define it.

What Is a People Counting System?

Footfall or people counting technology leverages smart sensors and the Internet of Things (IoT) to measure the number of people who pass through specific spaces or entrances.

What Is Footfall Analytics?

Footfall analytics essentially takes people counting the next level. In this scenario, data collected by smart sensors are analyzed, combined with artificial intelligence (AI), and used to optimize operations and more.

So, how do people counting and footfall analytics benefit academic institutions? Let’s take a look. 

1. Improved Occupancy Management

When you know how many people use university buildings, the spaces within them, and at what times, you can better plan and manage these areas. For example, a people counting tool like Vemcount in libraries will show which areas or floors and busiest and when. This approach helps improve visitor experiences, cut costs, and supports funding requests.

Schools and colleges can also adapt their overall strategy and better manage these spaces. Footfall analytics also shows which areas are least popular or show if there’s a significant difference between the number of visitors and the number of checked-out books.

2. Optimize Staffing Protocols

If you don’t have footfall trackers, you’re basically making estimations when creating staffing schedules. However, with people counting hardware and analytics software, you’ll avoid situations where you’re either overstaffed or understaffed.

This approach helps academic institutions manage their tight budgets wisely. When staff scheduling is done with the help of data, you also improve employee experiences.

People counting and footfall analytics also help institutions estimate the number of employees needed for peak and non-peak hours on an average day.

We can use people counting technology to estimate the number of employees needed to work during peak and non-peak hours. This is both on average days and some of those not-so-average days.

Whenever there’s an event on campus, you’ll have more visitors. In this case, the building might need more staffing and an adjustment to the thermostat. People counting data will help you forecast and better plan for such scenarios.

3. Know Which Areas Are Used the Most

When you know which doors and hallways students use the most, you can post important messages (like public service announcements) in those areas. This could take the form of information fliers on a bulletin board, digital screens with alerts, and kiosks or help desks.

When you know where students congregate the most, you also know where to concentrate your resources. For example, whether it’s a cafeteria or a fitness center, high-traffic areas are more likely to provide a return on your investment quickly.

You can also use footfall data to compare the performance of individual facilities. For example, if students continuously flow into computer labs, it justifies an increased investment. You can add more machines, for instance, in low-traffic areas nearby as an extension to the popular computer lab.

4. Optimize Maintenance Protocols

Smart sensors in public restrooms help optimize maintenance protocols. For example, you can set it up to trigger an alert every time five students use the facility. 

We can also leverage people counting data to schedule maintenance, repairs, and more. For example, if you need to replace the light bulbs in a hallway, you can quickly check and choose a low traffic hour to schedule the task.

5. Justify the Need for Additional Resources

We can strategize and plan, but often, things don’t go exactly the way we expected. As data takes the guesswork out of it, you can confidently justify and demand more resources when needed.

For example, suppose the cafeteria has more student traffic than expected. In that case, you’ll need to increase the number of cafeteria staff, inventory and even request more space. Whenever you take a proactive approach armed with footfall data, you’re likely to deliver improved student experiences. 

Universities are also places where we engage in commercial activities. So, footfall data can also help college bookstores and restaurants better plan and manage their business activities. 

Footfall data can also help attract advertising revenue. For example, excluding stadiums and sports-related spaces, people counting data can also highlight other high traffic areas that will work perfectly for advertising. 

In this scenario, data can unlock the doors and guide you to both short-term and long-term solutions whenever budgets and resources are tight. 

Does your academic institution require people counters and footfall analytics? Request a callback or schedule a commitment-free consultation