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Analysing Data for Improvement

Why is this important?

  • PEIs are both businesses and educational institutions – knowledge of the organisation’s performance by analysing the relevant data will enable PEIs to keep up with competition and increasing customer expectations.

What are the specific requirements?

  • According to EduTrust Criterion 7, PEIs should incorporate continual refinement and improvement to its policies, systems, processes and procedures to promote good governance and provide high quality educational services to its students. 
  • This is primarily through the collection and analysis of relevant data for the purposes of measuring the performance of the PEI against the targets it has set for itself.

What was the situation before the good practice?

  • Most PEIs focus on their performance as a business by collecting and analysing financial data in order to be accountable to their shareholders. 
  • Fewer PEIs collect and analyse data that would inform them of their performance as an educational institution, e.g., student academic data, student outcomes.

What did some schools decide to do?

  • In addition to financial data, some PEIs have started to put in place systems and processes to collect and analyse data and report on student academic performance and student outcomes. 
  • Some have even appointed dedicated staff to collect and analyse data such as term/semester results, student progression from one academic level to the next, graduation rate and student employment outcomes to identify where additional academic resources could be applied to improve student outcomes.
  • For PEIs that offer external programmes, some have worked with their academic partners to analyse their student’s performance after the external examination and to discuss areas for improvement and strategies to improve cohort performance.
  • In these PEIs, the results of the analysis are shared at the key PEI management meetings to ensure that decisions on strategy and resourcing are taken at the highest levels.  This also ensures that the business and academic strategies of the PEI are well integrated.

How did the schools benefit?

  • By taking an integrated and data-driven approach, these PEIs have been able to create a ‘virtuous cycle’ where the good academic performance of their students and student outcomes have improved the reputation school through word-of-mouth leading to increased enrolment and better business outcomes. 
  • With better business outcomes, the PEIs were then able to make further investments to improve their academic systems and processes thus reinforcing their value proposition to existing and prospective students.