How do public higher education institutions get funded? In the past, state funding was tied to enrollment, but now more states are tying funding to institutional performance. State Legislatures want more accountability for money spent on higher education and have turned to performance-based funding (also called outcomes-based funding). As such, state funding is now tied to metrics like degrees awarded, course completion rates, time to degree, etc.
As such, administrators need to understand how well their courses and departments are performing and how they contribute to overall success. They need to drill down to the individual course level to evaluate course performance. Then they need analyze it further to determine what factors contribute to a well-performing course -- and how to apply that knowledge to improve underperforming courses. They must repeat the process for degrees awarded, transfer rates, etc. And they need to have this information at their fingertips for detailed analysis in order to effectively correct anything that's not working efficiently.
Data visualization and analytics are key here. Administrators need to be able to visually interact with all the data on courses, majors, departments, completion rates, etc., and answer questions quickly; make more accurate, data-informed decisions; and share their findings with others. Then, with advanced analytics, they can gain valuable insights into what might happen and why.
In the video below, Karl Konsdorf from Sinclair Community College and Dan Miller from the North Carolina Community College System share how SAS is helping them with performance-based funding at their institutions.
Want to know the details for your state and performance-based funding? Check out this map that the National Conference of State Legislators offers. You can mouse over it to see the details for every state.
Education has been using data visualization and analytics successfully in many other areas as well. To learn more, check out the Analytics in Real Life blog series. In this series you'll learn how education is using analytics, the impact it's had, tips on gaining buy-in for data and analytics projects and several best practices for using data visualization and analytics.