Category Archives: BI in Education

How Pilbara Group is helping Australian universities turn knowledge into insight

Guest blog post from Lea Patterson, President & CEO, Pilbara

Students in 2017 - 2 of these are likely to leave by 2018

In any society, the availability of high-quality, affordable education not only determines the prosperity of that country’s knowledge economy, but also its future viability as a key player in our digital world.

This is one of the key reasons why I’ve always been of the belief that everyone, regardless of geography, social or economic status, is entitled to a good education.

Bringing this vision to life is what drives the work we do at Pilbara – an Australian-based global consultancy and software company working with universities and colleges to ensure their courses and programs are sustainable and accessible to all.… Visit the author's original post

Driving decisions through data in Australia’s Higher Education sector

Students in 2017 - 2 of these are likely to leave by 2018

Did you know the current university attrition rate sees one-in-five students leave their course in the first year – resulting in $3.5 billion of lost student lifetime value across the student lifecycle? And that one-in-three university students fail to complete the course they enrolled in within six years of beginning it?

Both trends are impacting Australia’s current higher education sector, and have the potential to adversely impact our country’s future economic prosperity considering fewer skilled graduates are entering the workforce.… Visit the author's original post

Power BI Dashboard in A Day

Power BI headerI love Power BI (really, it’s still my favourite service, 18 months after I first fell in love with it). And I am often caught sharing ways that it can be used in education – whether it’s for simple dashboards, or as a decision support tool for meetings, or for a live stream map of student movement around your university campus. And I like hearing stories about how other people are using it to tell stories – stories uncovered by looking at data in new ways.… Visit the author's original post

Getting started with Power BI–a free e-book from Microsoft Press

If you’re a follower of this blog, or you’ve met me or seen me present in the last year, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of Power BI – the very clever and powerful service that makes Self-Service BI a sudden reality. When I show people Power BI I see their eyes light up, as they imagine the way it could help them unlock information from all of the data held in their organisation. In my experience, schools, TAFEs and universities in Australia have massive amounts of data – and staff are often frustrated because they can’t take advantage of it.… Visit the author's original post

Learning Data Science through a free online course

Last year I shared information on the Machine Learning course I took on edX, which taught me how to implement Azure Machine Learning services, and allowed me to build predictive data models. I’ve subsequently spoken with people who took the course on my recommendation, and have built interesting predictive models for student behaviour. One person created a model that used the data in their Student Information System to predict which students would fail a course – and which is 90% accurate!… Visit the author's original post

Free Power BI training sources

I’ve written about the Microsoft Power BI service a few times over the last year, and shared some of the work that I’ve done with it. If you have any interest in data and turning it into information, then I’m an absolute fan of Power BI. And if you want to share in some of the data fun, then you might want to spend a little time learning about what’s possible. So here’s my list of go-to places for free Power BI training!… Visit the author's original post

Free Power BI training sources

I’ve written about the Microsoft Power BI service a few times over the last year, and shared some of the work that I’ve done with it. If you have any interest in data and turning it into information, then I’m an absolute fan of Power BI. And if you want to share in some of the data fun, then you might want to spend a little time learning about what’s possible. So here’s my list of go-to places for free Power BI training!… Visit the author's original post

How to buy academic Power BI licences – a step-by-step guide

There are a number of ways of buying Academic Power BI licences, so I thought I’d write a quick summary to help people, as I have had the question a few times recently from customers and partners. We make it easy to buy Power BI licences for commercial customers straight from the Power BI website, but for education customers, there’s a different route that gets you the special discounted license. (BTW I’m not a licensing expert, so there may be other ways of buying academic Power BI licences that I’ve not covered, so feel free to add more info via comments on this blog post!)

I’ll start by assuming you know what Power BI is, or you’ve been working with the free version available at powerbi.microsoft.com.

Visit the author's original post

How to buy academic Power BI licences – a step-by-step guide

There are a number of ways of buying Academic Power BI licences, so I thought I’d write a quick summary to help people, as I have had the question a few times recently from customers and partners. We make it easy to buy Power BI licences for commercial customers straight from the Power BI website, but for education customers, there’s a different route that gets you the special discounted license. (BTW I’m not a licensing expert, so there may be other ways of buying academic Power BI licences that I’ve not covered, so feel free to add more info via comments on this blog post!)

I’ll start by assuming you know what Power BI is, or you’ve been working with the free version available at powerbi.microsoft.com.

Visit the author's original post

Using Power BI for Education Analytics in schools

image

I’m often asked to talk about Education Analytics or Learning Analytics, and I use the picture above for the first part of the story every time. Not because I’m lazy, but because I think that we need to talk about the true purpose of analytics projects. We’re trying to answer questions from people inside our organisation, but often we get diverted into a conversation about ‘reports’ - what will the report you want look like? What are the fields you want on it?… Visit the author's original post

Free edX Power BI course – starts next week

imageThere’s a brand new free edX course starting next week - “Analysing and Visualising Data with Power BI”, taught by Will Thompson. It is the perfect opportunity to learn how you can start to build an education analytics system for your schoolTAFEuniversity. I am a massive fan of using Power BI in education, because of the potential it offers to unlock institutional data and put the power  of analysis into the hands of users (rather than conventional BI systems that have concentrated on putting ‘reports’ into users hands).… Visit the author's original post

Australian Education Case Studies Update – November 2015

Education Case Studies iconOne question that I’m asked frequently about new projects is:

Who else is doing this?

In some cases, what people (partners/customers) are looking for is confirmation that they’re going to be at the innovative edge - and that what they are doing hasn’t been done before. But most of the time, they are looking for reassurance that somebody else has taken the journey before them!

So I collate a list of public education case studies and examples from within Australia, which will help answer the question.… Visit the author's original post

Student drop out in Australian schools

Yesterday media around the country reported that one in four Australian school students drop out without completing Year 12. The stories were based on a report from the Mitchell Institute, who published the report “Educational opportunity in Australia 2015: Who succeeds and who misses out”, and a detailed factsheet about completion in senior schools. There were some key demographic factors that drove the differences in drop out rates - location, indigenous status, language background and socio economic status, and they also identified a number of key other factors - “poor grades in core subjects, low attendance, and disengagement in the classroom, including behavioural problems”.… Visit the author's original post

Learn Data Science and Machine Learning Essentials on edX

At one stage in my career, working for fifteen years in marketing, I realised that it wasn't just enough to understand what the data told me about my customers, but to also understand how to extract stories from the data. And to do that, I had to understand the techniques for analysing data - not just look at reports that other people gave me. I’m definitely not a data scientist, and my knowledge of statistical techniques is wafer-thin. But I knew enough to be able to understand the meaning of the data.… Visit the author's original post

Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summits – September 2015

We have just announced dates and venues for our 2015 Education Partner Summits in September, in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. As usual, the invitations are open for Microsoft Education Authorised Resellers and our other partners who deal with education customers.

image

This year’s education ICT buying season is almost underway, and we have lots of new product and service announcements - including specific versions of Windows 10 and Office 365 for education - that are key for our partners and education customers.… Visit the author's original post

Power BI in education – telling stories with data

Power BI in Education

Last year, I recorded an example of using the Power BI in education, and specifically the Q&A service, to turn data into information on Australian universities (you can see it here on YouTube). Recently, I’ve been creating an example with school data, to show another way of using Power BI in education. This latest example is a walk-through of the Q&A side of Power BI, which provides the ability for users to ask questions about data using a simple search box.… Visit the author's original post

Case study – Applying Azure Machine Learning in education to student dropout

Having recently written two articles about the theory of applying Machine Learning in Education - “Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education” and “Making machine learning in education easier for every day users” - I think it’s time to dive into a specific example of machine learning in education where it is being used to support education outcomes in schools. The story comes from my colleagues on the Machine Learning blog.

Tacoma Public Schools logo

The example is from Washington State, in the US, where Tacoma Public Schools has been using it as part of their ongoing initiative to prevent student dropout for school students.… Visit the author's original post

Making machine learning in education easier for every day users

Last week I wrote “Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education”, which started exploring the use of algorithms, alongside cloud-based machine learning in education to solve some of the key challenges facing education institutions. The problem is that it all sounds so very geeky. Hey, I just wrote “algorithms” and “machine learning” in the first sentence, which kind of proves the geekiness. Although this kind of technology is making huge differences to our online lives (like protecting us from spam email and giving us just the 3 out of 100 emails that aren't spam) it’s also something that has been the domain of technical wizards.… Visit the author's original post

Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education

You can't read anything about technology trends these days without reading about Big Data and the power of algorithms. It pops up in education with lots of discussions of education analytics/learning analytics and a pile of other acronyms.  I think that the discussion is so intense in education is because it’s one of the key sectors that could tap into the power of data to improve business processes – whether that’s improving administration or improving teaching and learning. And it links directly to work our teams are doing with analytics and cloud services.… Visit the author's original post

Event Invitation: Keep Students. Save Millions

One of our specialist partners, S1 Consulting, work with universities and TAFE institutes across the country to help improve the value of student management systems, and the use ability for individual institutions to manage the student lifecycle and student experience.

Recently, they have been working closely with Microsoft, and international specialists in big data to apply the latest cloud analytics to the challenge of student retention and attrition management, and next month they are going to be launching their new Student Retention system at an event at our offices in Brisbane on 10th August.… Visit the author's original post

Open Data in Education–Sydney Open Data Day

image

Two of our partners, Socrata (based in Seattle, they’re an organisation with deep expertise in open data) and Altis (a Sydney-based data  specialist who have completed a huge range of data projects with Australian education organisations) are running the “Sydney Open Data Day” briefing on 6 November, with a special focus on education data.

Sydney Open Data Day

The briefing is a fast-paced hour, at 11AM on Thursday 6th November, at Australia Technology Park (in Eveleigh) Sydney. It’s an opportunity to learn about open data initiatives and programs in NSW and the US.… Visit the author's original post