Will big data revolution help students graduate?

The Globe and Mail reported on universities which look to big data analysis to learn which students are most at risk of dropping out.

A pilot program at UBC aims to connect the academic data about incoming student with their participation in extracurricular programs, their grades, and their post-graduation employment. The school found that international students were less likely to graduate than domestic students.

“We had $25-million of lost revenue because there was a 10-point [percentage] difference,” said Gage Averill, UBC’s dean of arts. “It was an eye opener to look at all the frenetic energy we were putting into developing revenues elsewhere, when in fact $25-million was sitting on the table if we could help these students.”