Why Universities Need Data Managed Services

As colleges and universities have gotten better and better at gathering data, they’ve also found themselves less able to manage it. There are a couple of good reasons for this. For one thing, more and more student–university interactions are done digitally, which creates more data. But that information also tends to be spread out across very distinct systems—one for enrollment, maybe, another for demographic data, and yet another to track student grades. Because each data point is captured by a different platform, collating and analyzing it becomes challenging.

Another reason universities struggle to manage data is that there’s no good method in place for catching mistakes. Incorrect student information or incomplete records may live unnoticed within systems, leaving universities to make decisions based on unreliable information.

This proliferation of data and the challenge of effectively utilizing it are exactly why higher ed institutions can benefit from data managed services. Here’s a look at a few of those services and how they can help.

Data Cleansing Removes Inaccurate Information from Your University’s Records

The challenges facing universities are often complex. A goal as straightforward as raising graduation rates could require a multifaceted approach to support the full student body, which in turn means having reliable data.

If you’re working from inaccurate or incomplete information, those complex problems get even more challenging to solve. It’s critical that you have a means of cleansing your data to remove the inaccuracies that are holding you back.

Master Data Management Removes Redundancies in Student Information

When it comes to managing your data, removing inaccurate information is only half the battle. You also need to ensure that you’re not counting the same student multiple times due to mismanaged systems.

Here’s a hypothetical: Say you generate one body of data based on student enrollment. This might include where students went to high school, when they applied to your university, and standardized test scores.

Now, say you generate another body of data based on dropout rates. This dataset includes how long a student was enrolled, which courses were taken, grades, and financial aid.

Without proper data management, a single student could easily show up as two separate profiles within those two sets of data, meaning you never quite see the whole picture or the insight it might otherwise provide. Master data management unifies student data and helps you identify better solutions.

Data Governance Sets the Rules for Master Data Management

You can see from the example above why master data management is important to understanding what’s happening at your university. But without good data governance, that management can’t exist.

Data governance is what sets the rules by which master data management functions. It helps break down silos to unify the information you have into a single source of truth, which in turn drives better decisions.

Data Warehouse Management Gives Shape to Your University’s Data

So much of what we’ve been talking about boils down to organizing your university’s data in a way that’s accurate, accessible, and ready to use. That means managing your data warehouse and creating a logical data architecture.

Think of it like any other kind of architecture. You wouldn’t start without a plan and a blueprint, or without knowing what purpose the building will serve. Likewise, your data architecture shouldn’t be cobbled together. It should be designed to serve your university’s strategic plan and help you find the best path forward.

Business Intelligence Gives You Greater Clarity

And after all these elements come together, you can see the fruits of your efforts within a dashboard that’s easy to use and provides smart visualizations and reporting for the data you want, right when you want it. Business intelligence managed services can help you not only build that dashboard solution but scale it up alongside your university. As your school continues to grow, you’ll be able to make better strategic decisions based on the best available data.

Are you ready to clean up your data and put it to work?

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