Ellucian launches higher-ed data model

By Laura Devaney
October 19th, 2015

New model creates a standard, common language for data across systems and applications institution-wide, integrating the student experience.

data-HEDA new patent-pending data model for colleges and universities aims to help evolve how schools deliver on their mission by improving how data is shared.

The data model from software and services provider Ellucian, which will integrate Ellucian solutions and partner solutions, culls data from various software platforms so that it can be transformed into a comprehensive, high-definition snapshot of the student and track progress from recruitment to career placement. This comprehensive view will enable higher education institutions to better understand and make use of data surrounding each student in an age of massive shifts in the higher education landscape.

The modern student is evolving and institutions need smarter tools to engage with them. The graduation rate of first-time, full-time students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year institution is only 59 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education, yielding a gap between efforts of higher education institutions and student success.

Simultaneously, in the age of big data, colleges and universities are gathering more information on individual students as they interact with a growing array of software systems. Ellucian’s higher education data model acts as a language translation service, standardizing data across all higher education systems to provide a single, high-definition snapshot of the student. This gives college and university leaders new insight into not only what is driving their students forward, but also into what is holding them back.

“Institutions are rapidly adapting to deliver a cloud-based educational experience and design success metrics to fit the modern institution. But to tackle this herculean task, we need to systematically look to big data to ensure the decisions we make for students today will pay off in the form of degree completion and ultimately career success,” said Jeff Ray, CEO at Ellucian. “The higher education data model allows colleges and universities to understand all these disconnected points of data available to them today and provide a more accurate look at how a student will grow and evolve in their academic career. By better understanding students’ needs and trajectories, we can ensure they excel in the classroom, graduate, and find employment.”

Built on open standards recognized from one institution to the next, the higher education data model extracts the complexities of big data and communicates these in a common language for higher education institutions. This eases critical tasks like verifying enrollment for students transferring between institutions or prospective students applying to institutions who may have 20 databases with duplicative student information.

“Our IT infrastructure is highly complex, varied and ever-evolving, and the amount of data we take in for each student and prospective students is overwhelming,” said Kay Rhodes, CIO for the Texas Tech University System. “Synchronizing, updating code and making iterations to all of these solutions is tedious and expensive. With the Ellucian higher education data model, we’ll help to create a single definition across the entire student lifecycle, giving us exceptional insight into each student, and a much simpler and more logical way to access all the data we’ve captured.”

In addition to collaborating with 15 institutions through its development partner program, Ellucian is working with a network of partners to expand the use of the higher education data model.

“The hundreds of customers we share with Ellucian are some of the most innovative in higher education fundraising,” says Mark Logan, CEO at WealthEngine, “The higher education data model allows seamless integration across their portfolio of applications, giving them the ability to streamline their processes and ultimately optimize their fundraising initiatives.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

About the Author:

Laura Devaney

Laura Devaney is the Director of News for eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura

Add your opinion to the discussion.