How Precise Data Collection Is Aiding Educators

    December 22, 2016
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    By Dino Balafas

    Learning science company McGraw-Hill is partnering with data analytics provider Zogotech to develop technology that identifies at-risk students, a proposition that will be very valuable to educators everywhere.

    Precise data collection and analysis is becoming more and more key for enterprises as big data makes it possible for decision-makers to clearly see where they’ve been — and, with the right tools — where they’re going. Precise data collection refers to the ability to collect and connect data points in order to provide a more accurate and holistic picture of the system in which those data points exist.

    The advent of big data has allowed for the development of a subsect of data analytics known as predictive analytics. By analyzing trends observed over a large period of time across a number of different data points, predictive analytics can provide advance warning about previously-unknown future events, allowing enterprises to make proactive decisions. In brief, then, the goal of precise data collection is to take the guesswork out of the decision-making process.

    Using Data to Track Student Progress

    This summer, learning science company McGraw-Hill announced that it is now the exclusive vendor of the solutions created by data analytics firm ZogoTech. ZogoTech has provided institutions of higher learning with predictive analytics and data tracking tools essential for tracking student progress. By identifying trends within data sets that represent a large student body, ZogoTech claims to not only identify which students are potentially at risk of failing, but also the underlying causes of absenteeism, decreased student engagement, and other issues that lead to academic failure in order to craft successful intervention plans.

    “We’re excited to team up with ZogoTech to bring its cutting edge analytics and services to colleges looking to make more data-informed decisions,” said Jerome Grant, senior vice president of Enterprise Services for McGraw-Hill Education’s higher education group. “As a learning science company, we’re constantly looking at the most impactful research and searching for innovators who are finding new ways of improving results for schools.”

    The platform has proven quite useful in prior applications. ZogoTech claims that between 2010 and 2014 at Odessa College in Texas, their software was able to improve in-class retention rates from 84% to 92%.

    “We’ve been working quietly for nearly 13 years with our partner institutions to deeply understand the data behind student progression,” said ZogoTech CEO Michael Taft. “McGraw-Hill Education has tremendous expertise and data around the learning moment. We have a unique opportunity to bring both of those perspectives together in ways that have never been done before.”

    Applying Predictive Analytics in Other Fields

    It’s not just educational institutions who can benefit from data analysis — every business wants to know what lies in its future. Using data to make projections allows companies to avoid impending disaster and position themselves to maximize their success. Much like ZogoTech uses predictive analytics to identify at-risk students, companies like TeamQuest have developed software that allows IT professionals to identify at-risk systems.

    Server downtime is costly, with some studies showing that it can cost an average of $5,600 for each minute of unplanned downtime. Precise data collection and predictive analytics can shield companies from both the headache and the cost of system outages.

    TeamQuest’s Vityl Suite collects and analyzes a number of data points in order to provide a visual representation of the health of an IT system, and this analysis can save millions of dollars in IT spending from outages and overprovisioning. Through the use of its sophisticated proprietary algorithms, Vityl Adviser has achieved a 95% accuracy rate for analyzing the health and risk of IT services. These tools allow IT professionals to recognize problems before they cause an outage and take the necessary steps to make sure the system stays up and running.


    Category: data-management