Perhaps more than any other industry, the viability of schools depends on their ability to measure and manage one key metric: student performance.
To add to the pressure to perform, many in the education sector are grappling with measuring the success of their efforts on shrinking budgets, according to a report from Aberdeen Group on the use of data analysis in education.
“In these situations, where efficiency is at a premium and data is the only plentiful asset, many organizations in the business world turn to business analytics, and the public sector has been quick to follow,” the report notes.
In the education sector, the most critical use cases for technology include:
- Evaluating student performance
- Evaluating standardized tests
- Visualizing student performance
- Obtaining early alerts to improve student retention
Although 41 percent of organizations in the education space have put data analysis tools in place, their successes are driven by the maturity of the organizations.
“Educational organizations that have implemented analytics are more than three times more likely to have an established process for defining and communicating end user technology needs as compared to those without analytics,” the report notes. “Leaning on internal capabilities like this, in addition to the technology itself, helps these organizations drive some very real and tangible performance improvements.”
Top technology strategies in the education sector include:
- Creating a long-term strategy to manage the increasing volume of data
- Improving results through cross-departmental information sharing
- Enabling users to be self-sufficient with technology solutions
In addition, organizations have been able to drive substantial improvements in key student performance metrics like reducing the dropout rate and boosting average test scores, according to the report.
“Education organizations were able to leverage analytics as a tool to support a reduction in student dropout rate that exceeded their peers by nearly a factor of three,” the research report concludes. “These organizations were also able to boost their average standardized test scores by more than twice the rate of organizations not using analytics.”
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