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How to think like a Business Analyst in the Registrar's Office

June 24, 2021 defines the work of a business analyst in this way. “Business analysts help guide businesses in improving processes, products, services, and software through data analysis. These agile workers straddle the line between IT and the business to help bridge the gap and improve efficiency.”

Once again, “...these agile workers straddle the line between IT and the business to help…improve efficiency.” Does that line of work sound familiar?

Like Business Analysts, Registrars straddle the line between data management and the business of higher education–⁠student success. Registrars have intimate knowledge of the enrollment cycle, academic calendar, and the work required to manage those projects. By adding analytical skills to your expertise, you can expand the impact your work and your office has on student success. In this post, we’ll discuss how to incorporate the skills of a business analyst into your work to elevate impact throughout the Registrar’s Office. 

Think Like a Business Analyst

A Business Analyst’s primary goal is to improve decision-making processes within their organizations through information and data. 

In the Registrar’s Office, you have the opportunity to improve decision-making processes and increase efficiency around curriculum and student success. Here are a few ways you can incorporate a business analyst mindset into your work in the registrar’s office. 


Analyze Business Processes in the Registrar’s Office

1. Diagram Your Processes

Consider creating workflow diagrams for existing processes; inefficiencies will surface. Select a process, outline the scope of the process, then collect information from subject matter experts. Are staff members managing the process efficiently? Do faculty members understand their role in the process? Are decision-makers getting what they need?

After you’ve collected information from stakeholders, create your workflow diagram and look for insights. Ideally, schedule time for those involved in the process to meet together in person or via video chat. Walk through the process together, looking to locate bottlenecks and other opportunities for improvement. 

This is where the magic happens.

When you get those subject matter experts in a room, looking at a visual representation of their process, lightbulb moments will follow. For more on building workflow diagrams, check out this step-by-step guide for creating workflow diagrams

2. Seek Data-Oriented Conferences

You likely attend conferences each year as part of your role. If you’re able to select conferences to attend, seek out professional development conferences. The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) annual conference is a great source of information and professional training. 

The University of California San Diego hosts another (free!) opportunity for further education and learning. Process Palooza is geared toward business excellence, operational efficiency, and continuous improvement in higher education. The virtual conference spans across six weeks, providing a more flexible schedule than other in-person, week-long events.

3. Consider Professional Training

Consider professional development training programs such as Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma is a six-step certification process delivered via self-paced online courses or instructor-led training. Black belts in Lean Six Sigma are experts in process efficiency–they can help reduce costs, risk, and process failure and lead teams in process improvement. 


While it takes time to focus on process improvement, the insights you’ll gain are invaluable.

By understanding your processes through these steps, you and your team will see opportunities to elevate your impact. 

As you find opportunities to improve efficiencies in your office, consider adding a workflow automation software to your technology stack. Workflow automation software can help your office reallocate time from managing paperwork to improving student success. 

The Registrar’s Office at the University of Utah uses workflow automation tool Kuali Build to save countless hours for their staff. After creating a complex workflow, administrators can launch the process, then take a hands off management approach as the software routes approvals accordingly. Administrators can check the status of an approval, see how long approvals have been waiting at any given step, and view total approval time all within the same dashboard, no emailing necessary. 

Ready to learn more? Take a look at how Kuali Build can help your Registrar’s Office today.

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