In the 2020’s data is worth gold. Data is the key to making informed decisions, instead of going with your gut only, we now have statistics and information that can guide our most important goals and plans for the future. This is especially true for higher education institutions. But data is only valuable when analysed. Otherwise, it is just a series of meaningless numbers and letters.
So why do some institutions still not harness the data they collect to make the most optimal decisions? The answer is simple – processes! No matter how seamlessly data is collected, if information systems do not have processes that automate data interpretation, analytics and reporting remains cumbersome and often avoided or reduced to underwhelming results. This is where dashboards come in…they literally can help you one decision at a time.
Dashboards are nothing more than data visualisation tools. But when customised and configured to show the data, metrics or Key Performance Indicators you need, they become so much more!
Dashboards combine all data into one source of information. Rather than trying to pull up information from 100s of different exported spreadsheets, with the right information system and dashboard you have the ability to integrate different data sheets and analyse trends. What this means in practice, is that compiling reports has suddenly become easier and more efficient at the same time. Looking through high volumes of data on spreadsheets and trying to find trends to report on could take months, but now you can use dashboards to pull together information and spot trends within a shorter space of time.
Dashboards do not have to wait for you to instruct on pulling reports. You can schedule for daily reports to be compiled and visualise data for you. Regular reports mean you stay in touch with real-time information. This not only saves you time but minimises the chance for human error when it comes to making decisions.
It’s in the details
With spreadsheets, it is challenging to set up filters so that you can effectively drill down to underlying information. With layers and layers of complex data, you may be relieved to find that dashboards can work from one detailed layer at a time. Choose how much detail you want to see at a time and pinpoint if and why any data looks strange.
In short, if your institution has evolved to using Information Management Systems, but you do not have configurable dashboards that help you visualise your information – it is time to change. No matter what system you are using, dashboards could save you time, money and ultimately can make the difference in how accurately you interpret and apply the data at hand.
Academia SIS offers a Student Information System with dynamic, adaptable dashboards that can be configured to suit your analytic needs.
Contact us for innovative technological solutions that enable your institution to excel.