The More Data, the Better the Data

February 6, 2017

In case you missed this riveting news item: The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) has announced that it will add a new survey to its data collection schedule.

Yawn, right? Wrong. Information found within your Financial Aid Office could be gold—if you’re interested in data-driven strategies that can help improve student outcomes on your campus.

“Peter Drucker is probably most famous for saying ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure,’” says Amy Glynn, VP of Financial Aid and Community Initiatives at CampusLogic. “This move indicates that the Department of Education is finally taking notice.

“That being said,” she adds, “I hope [ED] takes more care to ensure the integrity and accurate aggregation of data than was recently demonstrated with the miscalculated loan repayment rates.”

Speeding Up the Pace of Data Collection

The gist of the NCES announcement is that its 2017-18 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, Administrative Collection (NPSAS: 18-AC) will complement existing financial aid data collections with estimates on a two-year cycle instead of the current four-year cycle. The enhanced report also will include data from most U.S. states, enabling even more comparisons of financial aid information. Data collection is scheduled to occur in 2018, with the results planned for release in 2019.

“More data and data points are good if structured correctly,” Amy notes. Adding representative sample state information—plus cutting two years out of the collection cycle—will help schools get more comprehensive information, she says.

Consider how long four years is in our compressed-time lives. Four years ago, there were no such things as hoverboards, selfie sticks or talking Alexas at home. Four years can be an especially long time between research periods when you’re trying to study the fickle habits of college students. Four years, in fact, is virtually a different generation.

“So what,” you say? We asked that question, too, plus one more: What if we could help schools instantly gather data from their own financial aid offices?

At CampusLogic, We Love Data

We love all the number-crunching, business modeling, “what if’s” we can get our hands on—and we know that you need certain key insights to help you make sound, evidence-based decisions about staffing, engagement, and other important student-success efforts.

That’s why we built CampusMetrics.SM Now, you can learn more about the numbers behind your numbers with our powerful analytics. Watch this blog this month for upcoming articles on ISIR analytics, operational insights, and AwardLetter SM information from our COO, Chris Chumley, who’s passionate about all the awesome things data can do for you and your campus.

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