4 examples of data, reporting and analytics in education


Leaders in the education industry understand that when people at all levels have timely access to the right data and reports, they can generate trusted knowledge and insights that help transform programs, curriculums, student outcomes and more. That's how the industry's leaders deliver desired results faster to further student success. And it's why they're expanding their data usage via reporting and analytics. The end goal? Turn vast amounts of data into data-informed insights. Let me give you a few examples from presentations at SAS Global Forum.

Example 1: Create a persistent statewide unique identifier and longitudinal view of student and staff

Accessing and integrating data across multiple systems is a challenge. Accessing and integrating disparate data across universities, colleges and K-12 schools is even harder. To use that data for legislative reporting, educational effectiveness reporting, research and determining funding, properly identifying individuals is key.

That was the situation at Florida Department of Education (FL DOE). They created a persistent statewide unique identifier and longitudinal view of student and staff across colleges, K-12 schools and other sources and systems. They've implemented Florida’s Education Identifier (FLEID), data quality and reporting systems with a custom solution built using SAS to modernize their systems, increase reporting accuracy and improve stakeholder experience. For more details, see their case study in this whitepaper: Data Management: The Foundation for Successful Reporting and Analytics in Education.

Example 2: Use data visualization to make analytics accessible to a diverse audience

Enterprise data visualization systems have to address the needs of many different audiences, such as the President and all of the Vice Presidents/Chief Officers, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Academic Affairs Executive Team, Academic deans and department heads, advisors, program coordinators, and university directors. Understanding the data needs of each audience is crucial to the success of the implementation. Determining the best data and visualizations to provide for users takes concentrated effort and thoughtful planning.

Western Kentucky University uses SAS Visual Analytics to provide a wide variety of users across campus with the information they need to visually identify trends, even some they never expected to see, and to answer questions they might not have thought to ask. More details are in this paper: It All Started with a Mouse: Storytelling with SAS® Visual Analytics. You can also read more about their success in this article: Western Kentucky University uses analytics to ensure student success.

Example 3: Use analytics to optimize financial aid packaging

Analytics around student financial aid is another key area. Being able to identify students who will and will not respond to changes in financial aid allow higher education institutions to be more strategic with their financial aid awarding process. Tim Schuldt, Director of Statistical Delivery, at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, shared how they use the results of a mathematical optimization model via SAS Visual Analytics in his presentation, Optimizing Financial Aid Packaging Through Data Science. He explained how users can do what-if analysis to determine the appropriate combinations of students, aid and revenue in order to keep their schools fiscally healthy while also setting attainable enrollment goals.

Example 4: Use an analytics dashboard to drive data-informed decisions

Administrators and registrars need to be able to track metrics such as student enrollment, progression and graduation rates. Harnessing the power of data management, data visualization and reporting, Hillsborough Community College (HCC) used an analytics dashboard to help with their “near graduation” program.

The dashboard pulls data from multiple departments to show administrators and registrars the students not currently enrolled, but within 15 percent of graduating. HCC can then reach out to those students to encourage and incentivize them to re-enroll and complete a credential. The college can now also identify which students are on track, which are near completion and which are eligible to be auto-graduated.

As a result, HCC has graduated approximately 1,000 more students each year, comprising 20 percent of all graduations. Credit completions grew by 69 percent in 5 years. These are significant achievements for Hillsborough County. As an example, students with an Associate’s Degree from HCC earn 35 percent more compared to county citizens with only high school degrees. That’s more than half a million dollars over their lifetimes.

These are just a few examples of some of the amazing things customers are doing with data, reporting and analytics. But that’s not all -- here are more examples.

You can also check out Ten Tips for Using Data Visualization and Analytics Effectively in Education for a compilation of best practices from education institutions.


About Author

Georgia Mariani

Principal Product Marketing Manager

Georgia Mariani has spent nearly a quarter-century exploring and sharing how analytics can improve outcomes. As a Principal Industry Marketing Manager at analytics leader SAS, supporting the education industry, she passionately showcases customers using analytics to tackle important education issues and help students succeed. Georgia received her M.S. in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics from the University of New Orleans.

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