Advanced analytics to reach new heights in education

About the industry

The Bureau of Labor Statistics describes the education industry, writing, “The Educational Services sector comprises establishments that provide instruction and training in a wide variety of subjects. This instruction and training is provided by specialized establishments, such as schools, colleges, universities, and training centers. These establishments may be privately owned and operated for profit or not for profit, or they may be publicly owned and operated. They may also offer food and/or accommodation services to their students.

Educational services are usually delivered by teachers or instructors that explain, tell, demonstrate, supervise, and direct learning. Instruction is imparted in diverse settings, such as educational institutions, the workplace, or the home, and through diverse means, such as correspondence, television, the Internet, or other electronic and distance-learning methods. The training provided by these establishments may include the use of simulators and simulation methods. It can be adapted to the particular needs of the students, for example sign language can replace verbal language for teaching students with hearing impairments. All industries in the sector share this commonality of process, namely, labor inputs of instructors with the requisite subject matter expertise and teaching ability.

Analytics in the industry

In a recent interview by O’Reilly Media, education theorist George Siemens, from the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University, gave his take on the importance of analytics in the education industry. He explained, “Education is, today at least, a black box. Society invests significantly in primary, secondary, and higher education. Unfortunately, we don’t really know how our inputs influence or produce outputs. We don’t know, precisely, which academic practices need to be curbed and which need to be encouraged. We are essentially swatting flies with a sledgehammer and doing a fair amount of peripheral damage.

Learning analytics are a foundational tool for informed change in education. Over the past decade, calls for educational reform have increased, but very little is understood about how the system of education will be impacted by the proposed reforms. I sometimes fear that the solution being proposed to what ails education will be worse than the current problem. We need a means, a foundation, on which to base reform activities. In the corporate sector, business intelligence serves this “decision foundation” role. In education, I believe learning analytics will serve this role. Once we better understand the learning process — the inputs, the outputs, the factors that contribute to learner success — then we can start to make informed decisions that are supported by evidence.”

As Siemens indicates, there is huge opportunity for analytics to make an impressive impact in the education industry. Analytics has the potential to drastically change and improve the decision making process for leaders in the education industry, and ultimately improve the learning experience and success of the educational institutions’ students.

How do we serve your industry?

Competitive Analytics delivers advanced education analytics to educational institutions so they can maximize the educational value each student receives. Educators and administrators alike face the challenge of keeping up with the evolving education landscape, which means it is even more important than ever to receive perpetually deep insights into which approaches are working or not working . . . and if some approach, curriculum, course, or process is not working, advanced education analytics can provide a roadmap on how to fix it. In essence, advanced education analytics empowers education decision makers with the necessary tools to measure student performance, measure student learning effectiveness, measure teacher performance, measure teacher teaching effectiveness, manage finances, reduce risk, simplify outdated and complex processes, and promote overall academic quality, success, student experiences, graduation rates, and post graduate employment placement and success. Simply, Competitive Analytics helps decision makers answer important questions such as:

  • How do we proactively help improve low performance?

  • How can we improve our enrollment?

  • How do we utilize our resources most efficiently?

  • Do our tests and current processes evaluate students’ progress and success accurately?

  • Which factors, drivers, and assumptions promote successful students?

  • Is our teacher development process as efficient and effective as it could be? Should be?

  • Which areas should we spend our funds or focus a higher proportion of our efforts?

  • Which factors, drivers, and assumptions are leading indicators of low performance? High performance? Average performance?

  • How do we proactively help improve low performance?

  • What factors are driving drop-outs and graduation rates?

With Competitive Analytics’ unique and comprehensive approach to advanced education analytics, educational institutions will gain valuable insight into student and school performance, student retention, enrollment management, fundraising, and much more. Competitive Analytics works together with your institution to determine an effective strategy to reach your goals and improve student outcomes.