Graduate Management News
Effective Practices

Benchmarking Reports: Three Steps to a Sharper Competitive Edge

Have you ever wondered how much more competitive your business school could be if only you could:

Compare an exit survey of your students to an exit survey of students at your peer schools?

Discover how corporate recruiters perceive your graduates vs. graduates of other schools—and then apply what you learn to your admissions decisions?

Measure your success at recruiting women, minorities, and other hard-to-attract talent against your competitors’ results?

You can answer these questions and more with customized GMAC benchmark reports. They’re based on data GMAC gathers when you and other business schools participate in surveys about application trends, student opinions, and corporate recruiters’ perceptions. Benchmark reports put your school in context by comparing it against other participating schools.

The service is complimentary for schools that are involved in GMAC research projects.

“It’s always great to see the bigger picture and how your experience fits in the overall trend. That’s why hundreds of business schools and thousands of graduating students and employers participate in GMAC surveys,” said Marina Murray, GMAC associate director of research.

Get Benchmark Reports in Three Easy Steps

Step 1: Participate in GMAC surveys. This is the most important step. You can’t get the market insights you seek unless data about your programs, soon-to-be graduates, and corporate recruiters are reflected in the following graduate business education studies.

The Global Management Education Graduate Survey asks students in their final months of business school to evaluate their degree program. Your school can facilitate this study by asking your graduating class to complete the survey.

The Corporate Recruiters Survey gathers market intelligence from employers that recruit and hire from business schools. Your school can facilitate this study by asking recruiters and companies that hire your graduates to complete the survey.

The Preliminary Application Trends Survey and the Application Trends Survey collect program-based data about current application volume, applicant pool composition, and acceptance and enrollment rates. Schools can submit data directly and receive benchmarking reports for all participating programs.

Step 2: Complete a benchmark report request form. Schools that participate in GMAC surveys should be notified automatically by email about benchmarking opportunities. If not, email Ask for a benchmark report request form specific to the surveys you completed.

Each survey is a bit different, but in general, schools from which GMAC receives sufficient data can select up to five schools for comparison. Think creatively: You may want to choose direct competitors, “reach” schools, or some unique combination.

GMAC provides your benchmark results in aggregate for each survey question. Your electronic report will arrive about two weeks after you submit your request.

Detailed explanations of benchmark reports for GMAC research studies and sample benchmark reports are available at

Step 3: Put your data to work. In the two months since the release of the 2010 Application Trends Survey results, nearly 150 participating programs requested and received benchmark reports. Like them, you can customize the survey findings to gauge your market trends, develop better strategies, and maximize resources. You can adjust your program offerings based on how students perceive the value of their degrees and experiences. And you can manage student expectations about the job market while strengthening working relationships with companies.

Think Community

GMAC surveys contribute to industry knowledge and are most valuable when more schools participate to help monitor trends. Through survey participation, you can receive market intelligence and add to the body of knowledge about the state of graduate management education. So encourage participation from your registrar, program directors, career and student services, and even your peer schools. Sign up today at

Click here to visit the home page
Click here to Read Our Archive