Better Your Students’ Experience with Predictive Analytics

 In Best Practices

Predictive analytics is a hot trend for higher ed in 2016 as more colleges and universities realize the importance of utilizing data to foresee students’ future needs. Once a school has discovered an efficient method of data collection, the next step is to figure out how to use this data to glean meaningful results and act on them accordingly. There are countless ways to take advantage of your data going forward to improve your students’ experience, along with your school’s success and retention rates.

Perhaps the most critical reason to analyze student data is to predict student performance trajectories. In order to ensure student success, you must have a way to turn student data into meaningful conclusions about their future performance – both as individuals and as a whole student body. On an individual level, you can use student data to analyze a student’s progress, make educated guesses about how he or she will perform going forward, and intervene if the data predicts a continuing downward slope.

From a broader level, you can analyze data from a group of students to draw possible conclusions about an overall demographic. For instance, if you analyzed the current freshman class’s performance against that of the current sophomore class and noticed it is significantly lower, you could conclude that this fall’s class of incoming freshmen might benefit from a more robust advising regimen.

Gauge Your Students’ Career Interest & Readiness

Just as important as your students’ academic performance is their level of preparation for beginning their careers once they graduate. Analyzing data points like the number of jobs they’re applying to or the number of career services events they’re attending can help reveal patterns about how likely they are to succeed in finding a job. If the data predicts a low likelihood that they’re fully invested in becoming career-ready, it could suggest that your career services offices may need to switch up their tactics.

Determine Campus Safety and Prevent Threats from Escalating

Another equally important topic you should be leveraging data on is the safety of your campus and the chances of any adverse events occurring. Whether it’s related to drugs and alcohol, violence, misconduct or psychiatric concerns, students’ histories are an invaluable tool for early intervention. Let’s say that you ran your end-of-semester report on student incidents and noticed that there has been an upward trend in the past few years of alcohol-related infractions occurring during finals week. Since the numbers are creeping up each year, it’s safe to say that your team needs to find a solution to this problem before next May rolls around.

There are endless ways you can use data to “see the future” and control as much of it as possible. Symplicity provides powerful tools such as Insight, CSM and Advocate to support you in your quest to collect and analyze the data that matters.

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