Jun 29 2020

How Data Analytics Will Help Campuses Reopen Safely

Data analytics solutions such as social density maps can help colleges and universities manage social distancing on campus.

How can universities and colleges reopen campuses without putting students and faculty at risk? That’s the million-dollar question.

While there is no easy solution, higher education institutions that have good data analytics platforms are at a significant advantage over those that are not using comprehensive data to inform their social distancing protocols and contingency plans.

But with countless analytics solutions on the market right now, how can universities tell which one is right for a higher education setting?

Degree Analytics, an affordable university analytics platform that supports early response and safety planning strategies, is one company worth exploring.

For years, Degree has been an industry leader when it comes to using data and AI to help schools identify behavioral patterns of at-risk students. The platform has long helped universities and colleges form early intervention strategies and improve graduation rates. Given its proven track record in higher education, it was welcome news when Degree recently launched My Campus Pulse, a program specifically designed to help universities manage social distancing on campus. Let’s take a look at this solution’s features and pricing.

Keep Students and Staff Safe with Social Density Mapping

My Campus Pulse generates heat maps to help higher education institutions visualize where large groups are congregating on campus. This is also called social density mapping, and it shows universities where students are on campus, who is on campus and when they’re on campus. This tool empowers decision-makers with data-driven insights to support current and evolving safety protocols.

It also helps that Degree has an interactive dashboard that is user friendly. Since the data is provided visually, it is easy to absorb. It does not take a rocket scientist to digest the analysis.

Users can sign up to receive daily and hourly reports with real-time data. This way, colleges and universities can make well-informed decisions if an emergency arises.

MORE ON EDTECH: Learn how to prepare for campus readiness while cutting costs.

Lower the Risks of an Outbreak for Just $2 per Student

One of the platform’s best features is that the barrier for entry is low. Schools would only need to spend $2 per student to implement My Campus Pulse. The per-student pricing is important to note because similar solutions often charge by analytics consumption —which can quickly cause spending to spiral out of control.

How can Degree afford to charge so little? Does it sacrifice quality to do so?

The opposite, in fact, holds true. My Campus Pulse’s seamless integration with pre-existing wireless infrastructure is what allows the program to be not only affordable but also incredibly efficient. It retrieves and analyzes data from wireless networks and integrates directly with learning management and student information systems to effectively cover all wireless access points.

One major benefit of this is that it makes adoption easy. Since My Campus Pulse’s data collection is agentless, schools will experience little adoption resistance from students and staff. As soon as someone connects to the campus wireless network, he or she is agreeing to participate. While similar solutions typically require users to download an app — which often leads to adoption resistance — Degree makes it easy for colleges to deploy the program by skipping this extra step.

Perhaps most important, Degree will also be offering contact tracing support. Daily and hourly reports can help universities look back and identify all potential interactions on campus from a certain point in time. By sending contact tracing alerts that identify contaminated locations, My Campus Pulse makes it possible for universities and colleges to respond immediately to worst-case scenarios — with data-informed decisions.

This article is part of EdTech: Focus on Higher Education’s UniversITy blog series.

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