In my January post, I mentioned the terabytes of payment, transaction, and check-in data generated on campus and its potential to improve student experience. Based on my tradeshow conversations this spring, the prevalence of people talking about how to use student data effectively makes me believe it’s a topic worth delving into more deeply.
With the current emphasis on student success and engagement as they relate to student retention, we understand how overwhelming big data can be. The ground-level administrators of commerce and credentials systems are integral to funneling an entire ecosystem of data to people and departments on campus that in many cases didn’t exist a few years ago.
At some schools, one new role with the power to affect data-driven change is that of Chief Transformation Officer. This individual monitors university enrollment rates, analyzes activity data from outside the classroom, models student outcomes, and shares positive impacts and areas where additional work is needed to achieve student success and retention.
It’s also important to understand who can best help interpret your data. It might be a partner, or it might be a new administrative role. If you’ve reached this stage, Choosing a Predictive Analytics Vendor: A Guide for Colleges is a useful publication for exploring key topics such as ensuring data transparency, supporting privacy and security, and facilitating staff professional development.
Why do transformation efforts and comprehensive student data matter? Imagine the advisory potential with insights from both payment and credential systems. Monitoring campus engagement, automating reminders for time-sensitive transactions, and advisory services to prevent attendance or payment problems from snowballing into student withdraws are just a few of the opportunities made possible by 360-degree data integration.
Transformation can go many different directions. Fortunately, with the right tools, people, and context in place you’ll enjoy a clearer path toward better student experiences and educational outcomes.
Adam McDonald is the President of TouchNet. Adam has spent his entire career in the software industry and draws from that experience to steer TouchNet's product and process innovation and ensure consistently exceptional customer experience. Prior to becoming president in mid-2018, Adam served as TouchNet’s Vice President and General Manager. Before joining TouchNet, Adam held a number of leadership positions at RSA, including Vice President and Global Service Leader. Prior to his tenure at RSA, Adam worked at Archer Technologies and MicroStrategy in leadership roles. Adam is a graduate of Dartmouth College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history.