If you work in higher education, you’ve probably heard a lot about “big data” – a catch-all term for analyzing massive sets of gradebook, registrar and demographic information to identify patterns and trends in learner performance. Sounds intimidating, right? Big data proponents say these techniques will revolutionize colleges and universities by helping them admit the right students, enroll them in the right courses, and give them the right kind of support the moment it’s needed. Detractors, meanwhile, worry that big data could magnify inequalities in admissions, or compromise student privacy.
Wherever you come down on these questions, one important fact tends to get lost in the big data discussion: only 41% of higher ed institutions are currently using data for forecasting and predictive analytics, according to a 2015-2016 survey conducted by KPMG, and at many of those institutions analytics projects are still in their infancy. That means that for most colleges and universities, the era of big data is still months or even years away.
Fortunately for schools that aren’t on the bleeding edge of big data adoption, there’s a whole universe of “small data” – targeted knowledge you can use right now to improve student outcomes – just waiting to be uncovered. Whether it comes from faculty, advisors and counselors, or third-party tools like Tutor.com, you may already have everything you need to make a big impact, without having to wait for truly big data to arrive at your campus.
Here at Tutor.com, we’re helping schools find this small data through our unique Predictive Insights Data Analysis service. Our subject-matter experts complete a diagnostic assessment after every live tutoring engagement to identify students who lack key skills and may require additional support from an instructor or success coach – and now we’re making it easier than ever to spot struggling students through our Predictive Insights faculty dashboards.
The Predictive Insights faculty dashboard shows instructors which students have connected with a tutor and which ones may need additional help, at a glance.