Case Studies


Case Studies of the Week

The Public Forum on Action Analytics will be posting a “Case Study of the Week” featuring exemplary practice from institutions, systems of institutions, or state-level uses on analytics.  This week we are featuring three case studies that focus on using analytics at the state-level applications to guide policy making and the decisions of individuals.



Top Gap Closers: Some Public Four-Year Colleges and Universities Have Made Good Progress in Closing Graduation-Rate Gaps

Jennifer Engle and Christina Theokas - The Education Trust, College Results Online, January 2010

Even as college college-going rates have increased there still exists in this country a large gap in degree attainment between white students and their minority counterparts.  This paper explores the efforts of universities that have had success in closing this gap in student success.


Building Student Success From the Ground Up: A Case Study of an Achieving the Dream College

Elizabeth Zachry, Genevieve Orr - MDRC, September 2009

In 2003, the Lumina Foundation for Educaton began its Achieving the Dream program, a national initiative designed to mentor colleges through an improvement process focused on student success.  This case study takes a look at the success the program by studying how its implementation has imporved success at one of it's participating colleges, Guilford Technical Community College.


Building the Next Generation Educational Technology Tools to Support Action Analytics

Kim Pearce and Jeff Grann, Office of Assessment & Institutional Research, Capella University - 1st National Action Analytics Symposium

This presentation describes how Capella University developed the intellectual and technical infrastructure to deeply embed analytics in its offerings and experiences.  This involves defining, measuring, and providing comprehensive feedback on student learning and developmental outcomes and progress, using competence-focused templates and rubrics that are a fundamental part of every course.  Course competencies and criteria are reported on and managed. The presentation goes on the report on Capella’s aspirations for transparency on outcomes and competences, which it plans to share with the profession to elevate the level of faculty performance in defining and developing competences in students.


University System of Maryland Effectiveness and Efficiency Initiative

Higher Education's "Accountability" Imperative: How the University System of Maryland Responded
William E. Kirwan - Change, March-April 2007

A Model of Efficiency (and Effectiveness): University System of Maryland Proves It's Possible
Carole Shelley Yates, Public Purpose, April-May 2007

These articles describe the University of Maryland’s effecitveness and efficiency initiative, which has not only saved money, but motivated the state government to maintain funding to the University System as an expression of confidence in their stewardship.


Developing Business Intelligence at St. Cloud State University

Developing Business Intelligence at St. Cloud State University
Michael Spitzer, Minnesota State Colleges & Universities - CAO/CSAO/Deans Conference, May 29, 2008

Strategic & Academic Action Planning Update
St. Cloud State University, MnSCU - Convocation Week 2008

St. Cloud State Institutional Measures
MnSCU, July 3, 2008

These three articles describe analytics and business intelligence at St. Cloud State University, one of the MnSCU institutions, which is using analytics to support strategic planning within the context of system planning.


Cuyahoga Community College Gains Institutional Intelligence from SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server Customer Solutions Case Study, April 2008

This case study describes how Cuyahoga State University utilized consulting assistance to build its own advanced BI application, which it is deploying comprehensively in “institutional intelligence” to support academic and administrative decision making.


Microsoft BI is Head of the Class at Coppin State University

Microsoft Business Intelligence Case Study - December 2007

This case study describes how Coppin State University deployed an advanced analytics application that enabled it to provide dynamic analytics combining student and financial data to enable dynamic analysis and drill down for authorized administrators, staff, and faculty.


President's Emerging Leader Program: Academic Analytics Project

University of Minnesota, August 2009

The University of Minnesota has deployed analytics in support of its Emerging Leader Program.


Using Data to Improve Student Achievement

Data Quality Campaign: Improving the Quality of Accessibility and Use of Data in Education
Jackie Lain and Aimee R. Guidera - Alliance for Excellent Education Data Symposium, March 9, 2006

Testimony befor the Commission on No Child Left Behind
Aimee R. Guidera, National Center for Educational Accountability, May 9, 2006

Using Data to Improve Student Achievement
Aimee R. Guidera, National Center for Educational Accountability - 4th Annual Conference on Technology & Standards, April 23-25, 2007

This selection of three articles by Aimee Guidera describes efforts to use data ands analytics to enhance student achievement and the efforts to improve data quality and establish longitudinal data capabilities.