“Education is most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
War, Weapon, Pain, Death, Attack, Mishap – These words would turn up if I do a word cloud of what I read in the newspaper. But before a few days, I read a completely different article which put a smile on my face. Kottayam, one of the fourteen districts of Kerala celebrated its silver jubilee of achieving 100% literacy rate. In the world, where one among the four is not able to read, particular district in a developing country was able to stand out and put a triple digit figure against its name before twenty five years.
Importance of education need not be written as it is a proven one but an unparalleled event also happened in the same district after 20 years of becoming 100% literate district, it also became the first tobacco free district in India and this emphasizes on the point of what education on the ground. We are in a world, where 2/3 of the students who cannot read by the end of 4th grade end up either in a jail or they need governments support for their next meal.
Almost all the developing countries and developed countries spend close to 10% to 14% of its annual government expenditure on education and this money is slowly shrinking because of various other factors. Now administrators are looking for an effective way to spend the limited money on the human resources to obtain a greater return on investment and this has given a leeway for Analytics, thereby providing stakeholders better tools to measure performance and track the students. To ensure this, President Obama has created new plans to make college more affordable and effective. This recognizes and rewards universities based on their performance and facilitates a more effective education system at a university level.
In many ways analytics can play an important role in the primary, secondary and higher education area. It can play a greater role in the areas like increasing success rates in academics, better enrollment for colleges and also for providing effective learnings and these increases the return of investment in the industry.
There are many questions which Analytics can answer here; for example, why is there an unacceptably high dropout rate? Why are certain students able to perform better while the others are not ? How to find out if a student might dropout and at what stage of his/her schooling?
For understanding this, we will like to look into multiple factors related to a student varying from curriculum, class size, family background, school size and a lot more. Now, if all these data are obtained from disparate sources, it would help us answer not only the specific questions, but also provide leading indicators of low performance, factors affecting student performance and identification of intervention points.
On “data deep dive”, we will be able to find interesting insights and thumb rules for the college on various attributes. To add to this, scoreboards using the leading drivers can be built to answer relevant questions.
Using the model we will be able to monitor and measure student achievement and also helped those spot outliers for early intervention. Not just that we were also able to predict and prevent potential dropouts. Analytics can also help colleges suggest the best possible course to its students based on the data. This will improve the performance of a student and will also enhance the performance of the college by a large extent. In order to stay aligned with the new policies of the government, analytics would play a major role in improving operational efficiency.
The point is ponder is that all dropouts or poor performers from school or college don’t end up like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, only a few, under a very rare circumstances turn into one and the rest face a troublesome life until they comfortably “Settle down”. BRIDGEi2i’s statistical model combined with the client’s higher interest for their students was able to significantly curtail dropouts from college and thereby safeguarding futures of many.
For an educational institution to become a data driven organization, the first step would be to create a roadmap for Analytics and when achieved, would result in better opportunities for their students to realize their potential in their areas of interest!
This blog is authored by Alagiri Samy, Analytics Consultant at BRIDGEi2i
About BRIDGEi2i: BRIDGEi2i provides Business Analytics Solutions to enterprises globally, enabling them to achieve accelerated business impact harnessing the power of data. Our analytics services and technology solutions enable business managers to consume more meaningful information from big data, generate actionable insights from complex business problems and make data driven decisions across pan-enterprise processes to create sustainable business impact. To know more visit www.bridgei2i.com
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of BRIDGEi2i.