Making a Case for Einstein Analytics in Higher Education with Actionable Insights

July 23, 2019 Kathryn Baker Parks

Your Office of Institutional Research has built more dashboards than you ever thought possible - displaying everything from student success metrics to institutional finance KPIs. Some of these dashboards are even interactive, allowing the campus community to filter data and unearth meaningful insights.  

Group of Higher Ed Business People Looking at Einstein Analytics visualization and data on a tablet

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already using Salesforce or are thinking about a future implementation -- likely one that includes reports and dashboards.  

You might be asking yourself, “If I’ve already got institutional dashboards and Salesforce reports, why would I need Einstein Analytics?”  

The answer to this question is simple and summarizes Einstein Analytics' primary value in Higher Education – Actionable Insights. While traditional dashboards display data in meaningful ways, Einstein Analytics takes it one step further by enabling users to not only view insights but also take immediate action.  

Sounds great, but how does this work in practice? The possibilities are (almost) limitless, but I’ve listed a few examples. The following are several ways that Einstein Analytics can be used to provide actionable insights in Higher Education:  

Undergraduate Admissions

The Director of Admissions is reviewing the recruitment dashboard and notices a sudden spike in applications from a location that normally doesn’t generate many applicants. As she drills down into the data, she learns that the applicants received the new university brochure that was mailed using targeted information generated from a previous Einstein Discovery analysis.  

Career Services

A career services officer wants to invite companies that are likely to hire students to an upcoming career fair. He researches prior company hiring information in his Einstein Analytics Career Services Dashboard, applying the appropriate filters. When he defines a list of the businesses that meet his requirements, he can immediately send an invite without ever leaving the dashboard. 

Financial Aid

A financial aid officer wants to ensure that the university is offering the “right” amount of financial aid to entice students to enroll. Not too much, not too little. She uses Einstein Prediction Builder, a feature that allows her to view predictions based on Salesforce data, to determine if the amount selected by her office will likely be accepted by a specific student. She notices that Einstein predicts the student will not enroll and she immediately initiates a workflow to update the amount before the letter is mailed to the student. 

Academic Affairs

In preparation for an upcoming advising appointment, an academic advisor reviews a student’s record and sees a prediction that the student is at risk of dropping a class because of poor attendance last month. On the same screen, the advisor can quickly check in with the student’s professor and develop a success plan before the advising appointment. 

Academic Advising

The Director of Academic Advising wants to see how effective her advising staff is. One key metric for her office is post-appointment student satisfaction scores. In reviewing satisfaction scores on her director-level dashboard (see below for a Director of Academic Advising Dashboard built by Appirio), she sees that one advisor is receiving lower than average scores. With a few clicks, she can act – setting up a meeting with the advisor to address issues and rescheduling students with more effective advisors until the issue is resolved. 

Director of Academic Advising Einstein Analytics Sample Dashboard

Einstein Analytics provides the ability to generate powerful dashboards and predictions that allow faculty and staff to take immediate actions based on the data they see. By breaking down the barrier between the visualized data and acting on that data, Einstein Analytics provides more value at every stage of the process.   

The use cases above are just a small sample of what’s possible. Depending on the data you have available at your institution, you could uncover countless ways to generate actionable insights – saving time for university administrators while improving student outcomes.  

To learn more about what Einstein Analytics can do for you, get in touch with a Higher Ed analytics expert.  

About the Author

Kathryn Baker Parks

Kathryn Baker Parks is a Salesforce Analytics Champion holding 15 Salesforce certifications (and counting). She joined Appirio as a Consultant after more than a decade of experience in data analytics and business intelligence in the higher education industry. Her personal mission is to guide organizations in leveraging their data to create practical solutions that transform everyday interactions.

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