Did you ever experience a time where you hear or see the same thing over and over again? Whether you chalk it up to coincidence, immersion or saturation, you clearly start seeing the same ideas or topics discussed in multiple places. Lately, I have been hearing about the topic of analytics in education quite often. At the same time, I have been working on several interesting projects on the topic as well. This is an exciting time to be thinking and working toward using analytics in education and I am eager to share what I have been seeing, hearing and working on.
For starters, it is no longer enough for education leaders to collect data just to deliver mandated reports. Dr. Susan Grajek from the non-profit organization EDUCAUSE and Dr. Sean Mulvenon of the University of Arkansas discussed this bold theory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California recently. According to Grajek and Mulvenon, it is time to use diverse data sources to make better, fact-based decisions that improve research, enrollment and administration, yet the field of education has only scratched the surface of what can be done with analytics and business intelligence. We were able to record their talk, The Transformative role of analytics in education, and turn it into a paper that you can download.
In addition, EDCUAUSE is working on a 2012 ECAR Study of Analytics in Higher Education. This site has a wealth of information - papers, presentations, videos, etc. In fact, one of the videos features Dr. Paige Borden of University of Central Florida(UCF) who is a SAS customer. She has worked with me on several whitepapers and webcasts, including:
- A New Dimension in Institutional Reporting: Business intelligence tools enable multidimensional reporting of enrollment and degree data for UCF
- Best Practices in Information Management, Reporting and Analytics for Education:10 Tips from SAS Education Customers for Making the Most of SAS® Software and Empowering Users to Drive Action
- Best Practices in Institutional Research : Using SAS® solutions to boost productivity and deliver increased value to customers
- Degree Data for All: Learn how UCF converted static data into a trend-focused degree application
- Data Warehouse + Business Intelligence Tools = Multidimensional Enrollment Reporting : Learn how a robust suite of multidimensional enrollment reports has been developed to provide UCF campus wide access to current and historical detailed enrollment trend information.
Now, outside of my projects for SAS, where else do I find interesting articles and ideas? From Twitter, of course! These resources were all tweeted around the same time and again the same topic, Analytics in education.
- Big Data for Education: Data Mining, Data Analytics, and Web Dashboards, a webcast from the Brookings Institute in which a panel of experts examine the potential for data mining, data analytics, and web dashboards to improve American education, and a paper on the same big data topic.
- An Infographic on How Big Data is changing the college experience
- Understanding Learning Analytics and Student Data features an infographic for Learning Analytics 101
- Big Data Could Fix School Shortcomings : Data-driven tools, real-time feedback hold great promise for helping teachers and students, but obstacles stand in the way.
Lastly, I recently helped interview Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) to update their success story on how they are now using advanced analytics to proactively help students succeed. DMACC started using SAS a decade ago, well before they started using SAS predictive analytics. It was exciting to learn firsthand how their SAS usage has evolved over time.
So, like I said - wow – lots of exciting topics pertaining to analytics in education hitting all around the same time.