Business Intelligence or BI is a popular term among different organisations, including schools, colleges and universities.

It is a compilation of all software, methods, strategies and systems that aim at analysing an organisation’s financial and business data. In simpler words, business intelligence analyses the data in an organisation to determine its strengths and weaknesses. The common tools that provide BI software application solutions are:

  • Spreadsheets
  • Data mining
  • Operational dashboards
  • Reporting
  • Search (Query)
  • Content viewer
  • Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP

BI has gained popularity in the education sector because it reduces the high costs and management complexity involved in educational institutions. Here are four major examples of how business intelligence makes things easier for schools and universities.

Helps you make sense of your raw data

Business intelligence helps educational institutions organise and make sense of their raw data. BI software keeps track, organises and compiles your data to help you attain a surface level understanding of the consequences your efforts have led to. It measures your past data against the benchmarks you have set to predict your future if you pursue a degree in the course you are currently on.

Let’s talk about NextGen BI, Business intelligence software by Harris School Solutions, to understand better how it works. So, this NextGen BI extracts raw data, measures it against 19 unique KPIs and transforms it into an interesting visual experience such as charts, graphs, etc. You will get an overall picture of what the data looks like and what it means for the stakeholders like school board members. And you can do so without sifting through complex spreadsheets of numbers. Also, you don’t have to explain the equations to the stakeholders.

Analyses academic outcomes and students’ experiences

Higher education institutions are working in a complex and dynamic environment these days. The rapid development of information technologies and globalisation led to strong competition between universities as well. To stay ahead in the competition, universities are focusing on two things:

  • Providing high quality education and research
  • Organising wide marketing campaigns to attract better students and offer useful Bachelor and Master programmes

Business intelligence software helps universities reach these two goals.  The role of business intelligence is as follows:

  • Universities are able to collect and analyse large volumes of data related to their students, administrative staff and lecturers. Data in education comes from two types of sources- traditional education and distance education. The information systems used and the data sources differ in both types of sources. Business intelligence software makes it possible for universities to transform this data into meaningful knowledge and information that would help them close the gap between their current and desired performance.
  • The BI system acts as a planning and monitoring tool where it models the student number plans, monitor them based on KPIs, and suggests the right courses for each student. The KPIs used by BI software are Progression and Achievement, Student Satisfaction, International Population, Graduate Level Destination, Research Assessment, etc. The management can monitor each student’s current performance and make forecasts for an efficient ROI.
  • BI solutions help universities assess the academic performance of each student for better decision making. The data collected by business intelligence helps universities get a better understanding of disciplines, departmental loads and academic outcomes. The management can figure out the areas where students need paper help the most, along with the areas the students are good at.

It is crucial for universities to assess each student to understand their performance in each subject. Business intelligence software helps the universities keep track of the students’ performance, give extra support to students as and when required and check their behaviours daily.

Facilitates better reporting and data visibility

Increased data visibility is one of the most classic examples of business intelligence’s impact in the education sector. Business intelligence provides intuitive and easy to read dashboard user interfaces within the analytics system from where decision-makers can get hold of accurate and clear data reports. This is how decision-makers can clearly get all the relevant pieces of data in a single location. All they have to do is connect the dots and get improved insights for making better decisions.

Schools and colleges collect hundreds and thousands of data every day. I am not talking about the random operational data here but other necessary reports and budget-related data as well. Business intelligence software brings all the data in a single location and distributes them via accurate reports. So, decision-makers convert the raw data into usable conclusions to make decisions for the betterment of educational institutions.

Makes the best use of data warehouse

Educational institutions rely upon data to run smoothly. Each day the institutions collect vast stores of data from classrooms, colleges, schools, academic reports, test scores, etc. Classrooms also provide rudimentary data like enrolment numbers and attendance. Analysing such large volumes of data is necessary for the success of educational institutions but can take forever if you want to do it manually. This is where the role of our business intelligence software comes into play.

Business intelligence software lets you store, process and curate large volumes of data seamlessly. School administrators often collect data but do not know how to use them. The reason may be the lack of a proper strategy for collecting and storing data. Business intelligence software sort out the data in two separate categories but keeps them in a single data warehouse-

  • Attendance and enrolment statistics in the administrative office
  • Assignment records and test scores are in a separate folder.

The physical separation of data makes it difficult for decision-makers to assess the organisation’s data. But BI software puts all kinds of data, such as attendance reports, class schedules, test scores, etc., at your fingertips.

Wrapping Up

Education is a business that provides the required resources and knowledge to develop young minds. Whether it is a school or a college, every educational institution intends to make more profits with fewer investments. And educational institutions’ performance is based on the investments in college or school fees, student class strength, exam results, average student attendance, size of the classes, etc. BI software helps the institutions collect, analyse and predict the data required to be successful in the education industry.