After decades of helping prevent terrorism, Intelligent Software Solutions turns its attention to student retention

security-software-dropoutFor more than 20 years, data analytics company Intelligent Software Solutions has created software to help counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs), assist police officers in preventing crimes, and predict the behavior of terrorists.

Now, the company is turning its attention to a new target: students.

90 percent of the engineers and technicians at ISS hold Department of Defense security clearances. The company’s software supports more than 20 bomb centers around the world, as well as Air Force air and space operations centers.

At first glance, colleges and universities may not seem like they’re in the company’s wheelhouse.

But Dr. Kent Bimson, chief scientist at Intelligent Software Solutions, said the software could be a good fit for improving college graduation rates. According to a 2013 report funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 46 percent of students in the U.S. fail to graduate college within six years.

“Universities don’t have a generalized solution to this challenge,” Bimson said. “It’s clearly a fertile area for exploration, and the kind of technology we can bring seems to be the right kinds of things they’re looking for.”

As a research professor in the University of New Mexico’s electric and computer engineering department, Bimson was recently approached by the university’s administrators about the possibility of using some of ISS’s technology.

Since then, ISS has begun what the company calls a “fact finding stage.” No partnerships exist yet with any universities, but the company is exploring how to apply its data analytics software to the concerns of universities, Bimson said.

(Next page: The Snowden Effect)

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