Retention | News
Valdosta State U Employs Business Intelligence to Improve Retention Rates
Valdosta State University (VSU) in
Georgia has improved student retention rates with the help of business
intelligence (BI) and information discovery tools.
Prior to implementing the tools, the university estimates that its
disappointing 67 percent one-year student retention rate cost $6.5 million in
lost revenue each year. To staunch the flow of students and revenue out of the
university, it embarked on a multi-phase project to improve student success
Phase one began in April 2012 with the implementation of
Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, which includes tools such
as interactive dashboards, ad hoc queries and strategy management. Phase two of
the project began that fall, when VSU piloted
Oracle Endeca Information Discovery, which lets the university collect and
analyse student data from sources such as student surveys and ID card usage. VSU
used the information from the two integrated tools to identify factors related
to student success.
VSU discovered that students who eat breakfast on campus have a 10 percent
higher retention rate and freshmen who work on campus have a 30 percent higher
retention rate. Based on this information, the university began promoting
on-campus eateries and invested $200,000 in student jobs on campus, money it
anticipates recouping through $2 million in reduced retention costs over four
One year after the initiative began, student midterm and final grades had
improved an average of 10 to 15 percent, and retention rates had improved by 2.5
percent, according to information from Oracle. VSU plans to develop more case
studies with Oracle Endeca to further improve those numbers.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.