Student Success Software Helps Colleges and their Students
When you purchase a book on Amazon, data comes into play. The company obtains your email, payment information, and follows your viewing history to show you more ads of similar books, or other product that you might want to purchase later.
It should be no surprise that data factors into significantly larger investments as well, such as a college education. Over the last few years, universities have enhanced their data collection efforts to streamline the student experience and help them to maximize their investment. When new sources of data are collected and analyzed it can flag issues and help keep students on track.
An Example Student
Let’s say Lisa has declared herself as a nursing major and is taking all sorts of science courses that she needs as prerequisites to begin the program. She’s been really struggling with her Introduction to Biology class this semester, and without a tutor she is in jeopardy of getting a D.
Lisa’s always been a strong student, and she fared well at science in high school. The situation may have more to do with being a freshman in college and her newfound independence. The student success software that the school now uses flagged an overall trend that may be of interest to Lisa, and her advisors. It flagged that 62 percent of the students who score a C or lower in this particular class end up later failing out of the nursing program – a fact her advisors were not otherwise aware of.
Now, Lisa’s teacher and advisors can help her do what’s necessary to bump her grade up and keep her on track for her long-term academic and professional goals. In short, student success software serves as a powerful early warning system, but that’s not all.
Improving the Student Experience
Student success software helps universities to graduate more students, and helps the students pick majors that are well-suited to their interests. In Lisa’s example, another potential outcome would be that she could pick a different major better suited to her interests, if she so desired. Maybe she’d perform better in a major that didn’t involve a science background.
According to this article from Inside Higher Ed, Georgia State’s system helped generate 52,000 face-to-face meetings between students and advisors for a variety of issues, such as students signing up for the wrong course, or earning a low grade in a required course.
Access to Vast Amounts of Data
Colleges and universities have access to incredible amounts of personal data on students between email, web, and social media usage, and of course academic performance. The universities that are seeing the most benefit out of student success software are finding ways not to drown in this huge amount of data.
They are instead using it in targeted, insightful ways to improve a handful of important metrics. As all this data is collected, organized, analyzed, and managed, it is critical for universities to store and maintain it properly. In a worst-case scenario, it will be important for them to understand that they can work with data recovery companies to regain access to key data.
5 Unusual Ways Your Data is Being Collected
Many people may think that they are being cautious with their personal data. They may understand not to give out too much personal information on their social media accounts, and never give their social security number over the phone.
But what they may not understand is that private information can often be collected without their knowledge. Below are five unusual ways that data can be collected on private individuals, that they may not suspect. Companies often use the technology that’s available to them to attain customer data without their knowledge.
5 Ways Your Personal Data is Obtained Without Your Knowledge
In Store WiFi usage – Many companies that offer in-store WiFi use it as a way to collect customer email addresses. This may be fairly well understood. Stores can do more than that, however. They can also track your online activity within the store. They can see if you’ve gone to Amazon, or other competitive sites to do product or pricing research. Your internet service provider can see your online activity.
GPS Tracking – It’s common for the company associated with the app you just downloaded to store your location information. The same companies that are criticized for storing this data are the same companies that are thanked when their application helps people locate their missing phone. People also become thrilled when we have the option to use certain location stickers on our social media pictures.
Your cell phone may be giving away your location at any given time. It’s a good idea to check your settings to make sure you understand the data that’s being collected by the apps that you’ve downloaded.
Cookies – It’s a word that’s commonly thrown around online but not as commonly understood. People may not understand the level of tracking that takes place for Amazon to be able to run Facebook ads for your recently viewed products. They may not understand that it requires tracking for you to not need to login every time you use the same websites.
License Plate Readers – These readers are small enough they can be placed on any piece of highway infrastructure (or in police cars). They can take thousands of pictures per minute and record the time and date that a car was seen. This information goes to a database and stored by police departments. Private companies can collect data this way as well. Many people may not know that there may be a record of everywhere they’ve driven.
Signal Tracking – Retailers can use your cell phone signal to track your path through the store. They can use this information to offer you deals and customize their offerings. It helps them to understand the path you’ve taken and the products that you’ve looked at along the way.
Conclusion – While many people in the general public may be aware of the pitfalls of social media and data collection, some of the other methods may fly under the radar. Sometimes private companies can collect data in underhanded ways. This information is generally used by companies to better target their offerings.
Big Data and Healthcare
The last decade has seen a significant spike in the amount of data we generate in just about every activity. The ways in which we analyze this data and understand it have also expanded. One industry where these trends have had a significant positive impact is in healthcare.
The ability to improve our health through technology all starts with what we carry around in our pockets on a daily basis.
Smartphones and Health Data
Our smart phones contain the tools we need to emphasize prevention over cure. We have applications designed to store massive amounts of health data, and applications that can turn our phone into a pedometer that measures how many steps we take in a given day. There are applications that serve as a food journal, tracking our daily calorie intake.
Wearable health technology such as Fitbit or Apple Watch have also seen a tremendous rise in popularity. At some point, physicians may be able to access this technology to understand their patients’ fitness and dietary habits.
The technology that we use on a daily basis to understand our own health has significant potential on an individual and group level. It could also be used to understand the health habits of various demographics.
Mayo clinic, CVS, and Apple Watch all have a strategic partnership with IBM’s Watson. This partnership offers patients an added layer of diagnostic help and preventative care. New medical insights can be gained through the analysis of real-time data.
The same technology that brings cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to life could potentially improve access to patient records. It could also provide added levels of security to sensitive patient data.
More physicians are coming on board with the idea of remote appointments and telemedicine. This offers patients the added convenience of not having to make a trip into the office, and instead receiving remote care.
All jokes aside, smart toilets use can collect data to calculate measurements such as your BMI, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. These markers can help you determine when there is an anomaly and you need to see a doctor. You can think of it as a toilet’s version of a check engine light.
Your toilet might be able to provide diabetics, women looking to conceive, or the general health-conscious population with a tremendous amount of insight. While many of these toilets are still significantly pricey, for those looking for fast analysis, the investment may be worth it.
Big data has a tremendous potential to advance healthcare and provide better patient insights. It’s important for healthcare companies to understand the role that data can play in user experience. When IT experts and data scientists can collaborate with those in the medical field, the potential to improve human well-being will skyrocket.
Access to new amounts of health-related data can continue to revolutionize the healthcare industry for the future.