“Improving specific academic and administrative outcomes is not the only benefit of analytics. Many study participants provided examples of how analytics programs can improve processes such as communications and decision making” Bischel
The education industry is one of the more recent applicants to uncover the power of big data, and ultimately that of IoT. For good reason too, as it has every inclination to join in. Why? Because campus connectivity is creating an era of ‘smart campuses’, extending significant benefits to classrooms, staff and students.
Similar to the “smart cities” movement, campuses are revolutionising the way they collect, use and interpret their data. Understandably, as these ecosystems of human interaction merit themselves as small cities during schooling periods. This transformation to a “smart campus” adoption presents itself in many ways, however, holistically it represents the ability to manage assets and resources more efficiently to support campus, students and staff – all through the power of data created via campus connectivity. This is achieved through intensive learning and anticipation that can be performed by utilising data harnessing solutions, such as analytics.
Here are some insights uncovered by Educause after conducting a study in participation with Education facilities titled “Analytics in Higher Education – Benefits, Barriers, Progress and Recommendations”
69% of respondents viewed analytics as a major priority for departments
28% indicated that analytics was a major priority for entire institutions
Only 6% reported that analytics wasn’t a priority or an interest
With a focus on supporting campus, students and staff – data and analytics can be used as a tool to understand human interaction with campus facilities. Achieved by highlighting high foot-traffic locations in campuses and facility/amenities utilisation, through applications such as Wi-Fi hardware capabilities. This in turn can be used to inform maintenance and security services, ensuring the effectiveness of resource allocation and improving efficiencies.
Support capabilities such as these also extend to retail planning and timetabling scheduling. Through analytics, insights can be generated to highlight under-usage and over-usage of public spaces; helping to make better informed development and planning decisions. In a timetable scheduling scenario, accurate accounts of student attendance can be generated through data-mining, highlighting attendance and leave rates during classes. This will enable education facilities to make informed decisions with regards to appropriate timetabling and scheduling.
And let’s not forget good old communication. Keeping students and staff informed has become a lot simpler with new age technologies, and has become very time, location and activity specific. Through ingested data, messages can be curated indicating to those in a particular area of relevant events, updates or warnings (such as class changes or pop-up construction areas). This ability becomes seamless once married to an analytics platform, cross-referencing communication impacts to visibly live changes in campus behaviour and interaction; ultimately, supporting communication with data.