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3 minute read

Elevating the Campus Card Office with NACCU

12/20/2022 9:00:00 AM

In episode 501 of FOCUS: On the Business of Higher Ed podcast, Dawn Thomas, CEO of the National Association of Campus Card Users (NACCU), sheds light on the innovations coming to campus ID management, the importance of good data, and how institutions can prepare themselves to better use insights from the data they collect.



What is NACCU?

In the realm of credit card payments and data management, NACCU offers membership to any institution that deals with campus credentials. They work with members to build knowledge, grow connections, promote innovation, and aid in technology and data navigation.

“We want our folks to use [NACCU] to create community and dive into credential data in a way that guides them to providing a better service to their students and their campuses. We know the campus credential is a gateway to partnerships, we want folks to know the value of the Campus Card Office,” said Thomas.

Adoption of mobile campus IDs

While some NACCU members look towards the future of mobile IDs, many institutions still rely on magnetic strips for ID management. This dichotomy of technology has caused NACCU to adjust how it supports its members. For institutions that are moving towards mobile campus cards, there are two main areas to address.

The first is how to gain support and validation from campus leaders. Some successful NACCU schools have done so by involving student government associations to set goals.

The second is how to manage infrastructure for contactless credentials. Integrating mobile IDs doesn’t mean that institutions need to completely overhaul their equipment, but they do need to identify the best way to move forward. Without proper support and infrastructure, campuses will not reap the full benefits of mobile IDs.

Better data management

While the transition into mobile IDs has piqued the interest of many institutions, NACCU members employ a diverse range of ID management technologies. Thomas believes that the best way for NACCU to maintain balanced support across members is to improve data management. Many campuses are not using their data as effectively as they could, largely in part because they don’t always know where to start.

Card offices should review data from basic card swipes, access control, dining facilities, security and campus recreation. Once they identify a consistent way to collect that data, the information can be analyzed and shared to build business cases for campus improvements. For privacy when pulling data on an aggregate level, the goal is to answer the business questions without needing to dive into individual transactions and personal student information. Thomas advises institutions that data is not power, but that the decisions it helps make can be powerful.

Creating data heroes on campus

Recognizing the opportunity for campus card offices to become leaders in this space, NACCU founded a new workshop to educate campus officials on how to manage and use their existing data. Their inaugural Data Summit, held in June 2022, created a great foundation for attendees to unify cross-departmental data needs and advocate for data-informed decisions. Attendees learned to map out dashboards to run simple data queries in the card office.

Thomas encourages card offices to continue to use their data effectively because they’re more than an ID office, they hold the information campuses need to create change.

Additional Data Summits in 2023 will be announced on the NACCU events page.