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Engineering colleges hire data miners to find prospective students

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The Times of India | Rachel Chitra | TNN | May 6, 2016 |

Chennai: Database providers, who usually sell user details to companies offering home loans and credit cards, have a new set of clients: colleges seeking database of people who have the money and wish to send their children for an engineering degree.  Fearing that they might not be able to fill their management quota of seats, engineering college managements are willing to pay Rs 2.5-Rs 5 lakh for datasets. “As many as 11 engineering colleges have approached me. Some of them asked for generic data; they bought data without breaking it up based on geography, location or age group.Many others wanted smaller datasets of mobile numbers of students and their parents near their area of operation,” says N Kumar of database provider OneStop Business. When it comes to usage of such Rsbanks of mobile data,’ database providers say that telemarketing has not really taken off as much as sending bulk SMS. “It’s easy for college managements to get their own IT wing staff to send messages to some 30,000 mobile numbers we provide.We see more colleges actively concentrating on bulk SMS. Only two colleges I know of have engaged in telemarketing,” adds Kumar.  Engineering colleges call up data providers for a helping hand in recruitment.

And how does telemarket ing work? “Credit card companies hire agencies to do their loan recovery work. The same agencies are willing to take up telemarketing for colleges. If they have 30,000 mobile numbers, the agencies take up the grunt work of calling up possible candidates and asking them would they be interested in studying in a particular college.  Sometimes the same telemarketer would also be tied up with a personal loan lender, so they could also tell them that if in case they had fears about not being able to afford an engineering college seat, there is such-and-such lender giving loans at 9.7% or 10.3%,” says a staff at Business Services.  With more than 600 engineering colleges in the state and the demand for IT and engineering waning, Anna University management expects that as many as 30% seats might go vacant this year.  –  Courtesy

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