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Data

5/11/2017

College and university leaders manage large datasets that are compiled across people, departments and systems. Producing quality performance reports, institutional effectiveness measures, and academic data can be a challenge in today’s environment. In addition to maintaining reliable and accurate data, higher ed leaders are continually asked to do more work, with more depth—but without additional resources.

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Scott A. Bass is the provost at American University in Washington, D.C.

How many databases does your campus administer in the broad area of student support? American University uses more than 36 databases for different student-related administrative and learning management functions—yet, there is little to no integration.

Institutional research is crucial to providing college and university leadership with the data required to make the most informed strategic decisions, across a broad range of areas including admissions, academics, finance, enrollment, retention, staffing, facilities and more. In order for this research to be effective, however, it is also important to have a strategy and process to translate the data gathered into actionable information.

Colleges and universities are under intense pressure to meet enrollment goals, improve retention rates, and shorten time to completion. Predictive analytics can play a crucial role in these efforts by providing insights that guide strategic decision making, improve enrollment management and promote student success.

Robert Miller is vice president for enrollment management of Centenary University.

Ubiquitous in the business world, big data is being adopted by higher education, particularly in the area of recruitment. With stagnant or declining recruitment budgets and increased competition for students, leveraging the data most colleges capture is a cost-effective approach that can yield significant results.

Clockwise from top left: Lisa Daniels (Excelsior College), Vince Kellen (University of Kentucky), Thomas Blum (Sarah Lawrence College) and Elaine Lewis (Washburn University).

To get a picture of who is responsible for predictive analytics on campuses and what their jobs look like, University Business interviewed four campus “data czars” to learn more about their work, how it impacts their institutions and how they make it all happen.

6/21/2016

Institutional research is crucial to providing college and university leadership with the data required to make the most informed strategic decisions, across a broad range of areas including admissions, academics, finance, enrollment, retention, staffing, facilities and more. In order for this research to be effective, however, it is also important to have a strategy and process to translate the data gathered into actionable information.

Sponsored by: 

Why do students persist? Although there are some commonalities, the answer is different at every institution. Predictive modeling seeks to answer the question of why students persist by discovering hidden relationships in data. By leveraging a clear picture of past and present behavior, predictive modeling uses statistical analysis to generate a confident simulation of future behavior. Higher education institutions can then use that insight to positively impact student trajectories and influence outcomes.

Artificial intelligence has come out of research labs and onto college and university campuses to aid students and faculty. It remains in the very early stages of making education more effective, accessible and affordable—but it’s beginning to transform learning environments and campus services.

Colleges and universities are under intense pressure to maintain enrollment, increase student retention and ensure student success. Predictive analytics can play a crucial role in these efforts at institutions of any size, by providing actionable data that can drive more effective strategic decision-making.

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