Much attention has been paid recently to the power of advanced analytics services and technologies to aggregate, score and evaluate students. These services collect and streamline disparate institutional data sources into more manageable dashboards. In the excitement over the increased granularity and improved view into students’ activities and behaviour now available to universities, an important question is often left unanswered: how should institutions act on this newly comprehensible information? What many analytics offerings fail to address is the people who must parse, sort and triage the information they provide. Without consideration for what comes next, even the most sophisticated dashboard is at best a half measure. As Ellen D. Wagner, Chief Research and Strategy Officer at the PAR Framework writes, "if you don’t have an action strategy that goes with the predictions, knowing who is at risk is almost a liability.” 

This presentation examines the challenges and limitations that an analytics-only approach presents and suggests that to positively affect the student experience, resources must be devoted to effective action, intervention and follow-up. It shows how technology can support these critical tasks and briefly reviews one technology-driven approach. Special mention is made of best practice for overcoming cultural resistance and improving collaboration.

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