Effective data visualization strategies for higher education

Technology has changed the way we interact with data and information across all areas of our lives. With the 24-hour news and social media cycles, we’re inundated with information that can be overwhelming to digest and understand on our own. Fortunately, we now have our choice of powerful tools to collect, store, present, and understand data. Because data can be so powerful, it’s important that end users understand it, and with data analytics and visualization tools, it can be so much easier to identify trends and patterns.

Many sectors are moving toward data-driven decision making and leveraging the power of information. Colleges and universities are no exception and there are many strategies they can employ to make sense of their data. Data visualization is one such tool and it’s been found to improve student success, resource allocation, persistence rates, and more. In fact, effective data analytics software and visualization can help improve a school system overall.

Keep reading to learn more about how data visualization can benefit higher education institutions.

Helping institutional leaders

Leaders are always looking for ways to improve processes and outcomes and will often need to present those findings to stakeholders and decision makers. This is when data visualization can come in handy. It can be a challenge to get everyone involved to see eye-to-eye and agree on a decision, but when you present data in easy-to-digest charts, graphs, and visualizations, you can help improve decision making. Identifying trends and patterns can demonstrate what is going wrong (or right) allowing the end user to understand the current situation and decide on the best path forward. From there, it can be significantly easier to propose changes, adjustments, and improvements to the program for better results.

Ensuring student success

No matter the size of your student body, it can be challenging to collect reliable student data and then understand what to do with that information. However, data visualization tools can help institutions gather and understand valuable information and student perspectives on challenges and opportunities.

Using this information, leaders can improve persistence rates by discovering the root of the problem that is preventing students from staying in school. If you find more and more students discontinuing their education, there is probably a common denominator causing this to happen and it’s important to identify what that is and make adjustments. Chances are that if you look closer, you might find that there is something in your program that you can improve to help students face the challenges that are taking them out of school.

Improving curriculum

The best way to know whether your curriculum is effective or not is through course success rates. Course success rates are defined by any student taking the course and passing with an average or higher score. If you find that a particular class has a high failure rate, you can probably determine the possible source of the problem through these reports.

Through this, you’ll be able to see the commonalities that might have contributed to the low passing rate of a class. It could be that it’s held too early, handled by only one professor, or something else entirely. Whatever it is, you will find it in the data and be able to course correct to improve student success and make your institution’s curriculum top notch.

Tracking resources

Resource allocation is extremely important in higher education. Whether you’re a private or public institution, it’s critical that you’re stewarding funds in the most efficient and responsible manner possible. Wasted resources can put a drain on finances and you don’t want to spend money on things that aren’t working.

Data collection and visualization can help you quickly identify where resources are being wasted and any adjustments you can make to put them to better use. Not only will this help your institution spend smarter, but you’ll get a great reputation as a responsible steward of student tuition and government dollars.

The Bottom Line

Data is powerful, but it alone cannot help institutions make better decisions on how to help students and improve school systems. Leveraging different data visualization strategies can help higher education institutions improve resource allocation and student success and help leaders make smarter decisions.

Big data analytics services can do a lot to help your institution work more efficiently and effectively. Gemini Data provides data availability for AI/ML-driven analysis and applications to enable unified knowledge and access. With our products and solutions, you can make data-driven decisions easier and faster.

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