November 1 2011 Update: Since this article was posted, we have since moved back the fielding year to July 1 - July 30 for the MBA Student Exit Survey. This email campaign message explains the reversal of the change.
Percept Research has adjusted the MBA Student Exit Survey fielding year to August 1 – July 31 starting with the 2010-11 year. Previously, the legacy fielding year ranged from July 1 – June 30. We made this adjustment based on feedback from summer graduating programs and internal analysis of MBA outtake dates.
The fielding year is the 12-month frame from which we designate a 'year' to approximate an academic year based on the intent of the higher education study.
How are the fielding dates chosen?
End date of the fielding year is what is most important. We select a date in which a majority of MBA programs will have completed their survey. This allows us to deliver our MBA Lifecycle benchmark reports (Competitive Intelligence Reports) to the largest number of programs in the shortest amount of time after a program's individual survey has concluded. See a sample of a Competitive Intelligence here.
For example, 51% of all executive MBA programs in our internal analysis have outtakes (graduations dates) in April-July (reference: 2010 EMBA Council Membership Program Survey). By adjusting this date, we have moved 37 EMBA programs from the beginning of the fielding year to the end so they will receive reports more quickly after their institution's survey.
How does this affect delivery dates?
Previously, many programs with a June outtake would request for an extension beyond the announced deadline (June 30), which delayed the August delivery of the benchmark reports to all participants. With the July 31 end date, the MBA Student Exit benchmark reports will now be delivered in September.
How will this adjustment impact my program?
We anticipate that this change in fielding dates will encourage more participation from summer graduating programs increasing the number of peer programs available for comparison. This adjustment will also eliminate the number of programs requesting an extension past the fielding end date and would allow us to better deliver more timely reports to over a third of programs with summer graduation dates.
What if my program graduates near the beginning of the fielding year and I need benchmark reports earlier?
Percept Research provides an Advance Competitive Intelligence Report option for programs that graduate earlier in the fielding year. The Advance CI Report is in the same format as the standard Competitive Intelligence Report, but the data are benchmarked to data collected in the previous fielding cycle so we can provide you with industry comparisons closer to your outtake date.
The fee for the Advance CI report is also identical to the standard CI report — basically, you will receive your report earlier with comparisons to the previous fielding year. This report will not include comparisons to any new questions recently added in the new fielding year (e.g., a new question in 2009-10 will not have comparisons to 2010-11 data). However, you will have the option to purchase the standard CI Report delivered at the end of the fielding year at a discounted price if you want to compare to all of the currently participating programs.
Brian Mahoney, author for this article, is a marketing research consultant and Managing Partner of Percept Research. Brian welcomes your questions and comments.