Establishing an analytics culture: An interview with Oklahoma State University


Analytics Can Save Higher Education. Really.” is a call to action for the higher education community to leverage data and analytics for better decision making at colleges and universities. It stresses the importance of using data and analytics to improve student outcomes, campus operations and much more.

Oklahoma State University (OSU) is among a growing number of universities heeding the call. They're using data and analytics to streamline reporting and drive data-informed decision making across campus. Led by the office of Institutional Research and Information Management (IRIM), the university is transforming the way it delivers information using advanced analytics and predictive modeling.

Dr. Christie Hawkins, the Associate Vice-President for Administration and Finance and Director of IRIM, sat down to discuss how she and her team are spearheading the culture of analytics at OSU. They've made amazing progress since my previous blog post. Now that they're benefiting from an analytics culture, OSU administrators have access to insight-rich trend analyses on classroom utilization, retention, card swipe data, academic ledger, and more – tangible information that drives proactive decision making.

Watch the following videos to learn more about how OSU is putting analytics into action:

Classroom utilization

Ever try to track and report on how every room is utilized throughout campus? You quickly realize it is a manual time-consuming process that can take months. Christie Hawkins shares how they created a classroom utilization dashboard. Users can now interactively drill into the classroom data and easily find all the information they need immediately.


How to do you track student retention? Christie Hawkins and team created a retention dashboard where users can can slice and dice the information in multiple ways to uncover valuable insights.

Academic ledgers

What's the format of your academic ledgers? Christie Hawkins explains how their previous academic ledger was a stagnant pdf. Now, they have public academic ledger dashboards where anyone can interactively look at student data, faculty information, research expenditures, financial information and more.

Card swipe data

How are you utilizing cards swipe data? Christie Hawkins explains how they're now analyzing card swipe data to identify at-risk students in order to offer them additional help or resources.

Data and analytics success

Christie Hawkins explains the success they've had using SAS. She shares how having access to the information has changed the conversation. It's no longer about the numbers; it's about how they use the data to help students and move the institution forward.

Today, universities are increasing their reliance on data and analytics to anticipate the future and respond proactively to changing trends. The IRIM team at OSU is well positioned to share analytics-rich insights for better strategic decision making.

Watch the rest of Christie Hawkins’ video interview and read their success story to learn more about their analytics journey.

Read these Ten Tips for Using Data Visualization and Analytics Effectively in Education

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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