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Modernizing Higher Education Curriculum Planning with Astera’s Data Solutions and Governance

Zoha Shakoor

Content Strategist

April 24th, 2024

A 2021  Educase report shows that 75% of surveyed institutions have started or are planning extensive digital transformation strategies to improve their data utilization. The importance of a strategic approach to data utilization in this context cannot be overstated.

Effective data management frameworks ensure that data across the institution is accurate, consistent, and used in alignment with internal policies and external regulations. These frameworks support a data-informed culture where decisions are based on reliable evidence rather than intuition or assumption.

Unified Data for Strategic Curriculum Development

Integrating data in higher education institutions is essential for making strategic decisions that impact curriculum planning. By processing information from diverse data sources, universities can gain a holistic view that informs targeted, effective strategies.

This approach also allows educational institutions to pinpoint areas where curriculum may be lacking or where there’s an opportunity to introduce new, relevant courses that align with emerging industry trends.

For example, suppose data reveals a growing interest among students in sustainable technologies, coupled with a rise in job market demand in this sector. In that case, a university can decide to develop new courses or even degree programs focused on sustainability.

Curriculum planning benefits from a unified data perspective by giving decision-makers a complete picture of the academic scenario. This complete view empowers them to make informed choices that enhance student learning experiences, which may increase graduation rates and improve employability upon graduation.

Integrating data from scattered sources into a coherent view needs data management tools and the expertise to interpret complex datasets.

University Data Management and Governance with Astera

The right data management tool is essential for unified data. Astera’s data transformation capabilities and comprehensive business glossary help achieve a unified view of university data. It streamlines data processing and increases efficiency across departments.

Astera’s no-code UI transforms university data management and governance by allowing higher education institutions to manage and analyze vast amounts of data without coding easily. This user-friendly interface streamlines complex data processes such as extraction, integration, and migration.

 Segmentation & Simplification of Data

Astera’s no-code approach allows universities to segment and analyze student data visually. Using drag-and-drop features, administrators can easily categorize students by academic performance or enrollment status, making it easy to tailor curricula to meet diverse student needs through the interface, improving educational offerings without any programming.

Universities can also use Astera to aggregate and review data at different levels, such as departments or programs, without writing a single line of code. They can visualize key metrics like course enrollments, average grades, and retention rates. With these insights, institutions can quickly identify trends, evaluate program success, and make informed decisions to improve and update their curricula continuously.

Business Glossary for Data Governance

Effective data governance in higher education ensures that important information is easily accessible to stakeholders like faculty, administrators, and students, promoting collaboration and informed decision-making. However, using different terminologies across departments can cause stakeholder confusion and misinterpretation.

For example, in the academic department, “student success” typically refers to achieving high grades, completing courses on time, and making satisfactory progress toward degree completion. In contrast, student services departments view “student success” more broadly. They may include factors such as student engagement, satisfaction with support services, and overall well-being in their interpretation of success.

In this case, the lack of standardization for “student success” can lead to confusion and misalignment. Astera’s business glossary helps universities establish a common language for data. It defines key terms and metrics, enabling consistent and accurate interpretation of data across departments.

A unified definition of “student success” across academic and administrative departments can lead to more targeted support programs and metrics for evaluating their effectiveness.

Improved Data Access with Tags

Astera incorporates tags alongside the business glossary. Tags improve categorization and make data retrieval easier and more accessible. Tags like “academic performance” can categorize terms related to academic metrics such as GPA, course completion, rates, and academic standings. Users can quickly find relevant information without sifting through vast databases using tagged data related to specific programs, student demographics, or research projects.

The Benefits of Adopting Astera for Higher Education Institutions

Unified Data Management

Astera provides a central hub for all data assets, streamlining data integration from diverse sources into one accessible repository. This centralization enhances the reliability and accessibility of data across the university. Universities can merge data from online learning platforms, library usage statistics, and campus engagement activities into a unified dashboard, enabling academic advisors to craft personalized student success strategies.

No-Code Simplicity

Users from non-technical backgrounds can leverage Astera’s no-code interface to manage data effectively, democratizing data access and analysis within the institution.

With this feature, universities can speed up enrollment by generating data reports on student enrollment trends without IT expertise.

Data Quality and Profiling

Astera ensures that the data used for decision-making is of the highest quality. Its data profiling capabilities identify and correct inconsistencies. Academic institutions can rely on this data to make decisions like learning programs and research initiatives.

Educational institutions can automatically clean and standardize incoming student application data, giving the admissions team works with the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Automation and Efficiency

Automation streamlines administrative tasks and data management for higher education institutions so they can focus on enhancing student learning experiences and operational innovations.

Higher education institutions can automate the data integration process for new research grants, reducing manual data entry hours and allowing researchers to focus more on their projects.

Transforming University Data Management with Astera

Comprehensive student data analysis optimizes the process of curriculum development. Let’s say a higher education institution identifies the need to leverage its vast student performance and feedback data. The objective is to tailor the curriculum to student needs and industry trends, ensuring they’re well-prepared for the job market after graduation.

Astera’s Solution for Higher Education Institution

In the initial phase, Astera facilitates the integration of varied student data sources. This process involves:

  • Data Extraction 

Astera’s AI-recommended template extraction streamlines data extraction. Its native database connectivity and API integration allow pulling data from institutional and external sources.

This whole process drastically reduces the preparation time by automating tasks such as name and record parsing. Through this, universities can extract data from multiple sources, including academic records, course evaluations, and alums employment reports.

  • Data Transformation 

The university combines these diverse data streams into a unified dataset through transformations, such as Joins. Expressions are applied to clean and standardize individual data entries, ensuring consistency across all records.

  • Data Loading 

The transformed data is moved to a centralized repository for further analysis. Using unified data allows universities to comprehensively view student academic performance, engagement levels, and post-graduation success.

Standardizing Data with Astera’s Business Glossary

Terminology Standardization 

Astera’s business glossary allows for defining and standardizing key educational metrics and terms across departments. This common language eliminates ambiguity and facilitates a shared understanding of data insights.

Data Consistency 

Establishing clear definitions for terms like “Student Engagement” and “Employment Readiness” allows universities to ensure that data analysis and curriculum decisions are based on consistent criteria across all academic units.

Data Enrichment  

Astera’s business glossary enriches data assets by attaching relevant metadata. This metadata provides additional context and clarification about the purpose and usage of each data asset, further enhancing the common understanding among stakeholders.

Specific Outcomes Achieved 

By Leveraging Astera’s integrated solutions, universities can:

Identify Curriculum Gaps 

Analyze student feedback and performance data to pinpoint areas where the curriculum needs enhancement or innovation – aligning the curriculum more closely with current industry requirements and future employment opportunities.

Improve Student Outcomes 

Adjusting teaching methods and course content based on data-driven insights leads to higher student satisfaction, better academic performance, and increased post-graduation employment rates.

Final Words

Higher education institutions can navigate the complexities of modern academia by integrating and standardizing their vast datasets. It ensures that their strategies are both informed and impactful. With Astera, universities can seamlessly blend diverse data sources and establish a unified data language across departments. This harmonization enables strategic decisions—from curriculum development to faculty hiring— grounded in reliable, accessible, and consistent data.

Experience advanced data management and governance with Astera’s user-friendly solution. Process the data to drive strategic decisions and achieve academic excellence. Schedule a demo and download a free 14 day trial today to start streamlining data governance and informed decision-making.

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