Brent Drake, Purdue University, Chief Data Officer

The Key To Great Analytics - Understand The Forces You Want To Change

  • Organizations can use analytics not only to define the so-called “murky middle” students who may or may not succeed but also to push those midlevel students toward success by identifying and fulfilling their needs.
  • To be successful, tie analytics to concrete, well-defined goals. When clear outcomes are in place, it becomes easier to see where you want to exert influence.

“We can look at malleable behaviors predictive of success on campus, then send messages to the students about them.”

Brent Drake, chief data officer at Purdue University, spends his days using analytics to make students more successful. “One of the major focus areas our office points to is student success. Specifically, we’re looking at students’ academic success, so their grade-point average (GPA), their progression toward their degree, their retention, and ultimately their graduation are the key metrics we look at. We’ve worked on many projects over the past three years that include factors that affect that success—ways we can help move the needle on those metrics so that we can ultimately help more students be successful at the university.”

This is an excerpt from The Future of Higher Education. The eBook was generously sponsored by Ellucian.