Advanced analytics: Helping educators approach the ideal

Advanced analytics may help schools anticipate trends that may help school leaders make key decisions.
Advanced analytics may help schools anticipate trends that may help school leaders make key decisions.

In the business sector, companies have been using predictive analysis for years to improve performance, predict stocks, or take action and change direction when troubling trends appear. They gather data from a variety of sources and use modeling to pinpoint disturbing developments, identify where things might be headed, and make appropriate changes.

The public sector typically lags behind business: While it has become relatively common within education to use data analysis for tracking and measuring performance at the school, educator, and student levels, far fewer schools and colleges have taken analytics to the next level–using advanced analytics strategies to identify trends that can help predict future performance and help school leaders make key decisions, early on in the process, that can change a potentially unwelcome outcome or take advantage of a positive trend.

But that’s beginning to change. Using advanced analytics software, the University of California system has saved $167 million in the last five years by mitigating risks across its 10 campuses and five medical centers, for example–and the Houston Independent School District has saved millions of dollars in labor and expenses for food service, transportation, and other critical functions (see “HISD sees 151-percent ROI in 10 years from analytics project” and “UC campuses mitigate risk–and save millions in the process.”)…Read More