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How to Use Student Data to Improve Outcomes

Published: August 30, 2021

How to Use Student Data to Improve Outcomes 

Counselors, principals and superintendents know that education is the great equalizer — it empowers individuals and unlocks social and economic opportunity to break cycles of poverty.

And while the 21st century has brought a host of innovation that can propel marginalized students and their communities forward, school districts and community-based organizations (CBOs) know all too well that systemic barriers still threaten to limit students and communities from achieving their goals.

This impact cannot be understated — progressing historically underrepresented students’ success through college can have a ripple effect that will improve the lives of students, their communities, and future generations.

Closing educational equity gaps with GuidEd Insight 

School districts and CBOs are leveraging the power of GuidEd Insight to support college outcomes, while advisors have identified new risk factors to drive proactive support actions.

The use of GuidEd Insight can give you and your student-facing teams more time to focus on high-impact activities, while still getting the data and insights needed to guide students toward their best college outcome.  

Every student’s college journey and experience will look different, and as champions for equity in education, it’s our goal to support each individual student. But with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of students graduating from your school each year, how can you best advise each student based on their unique circumstances and goals?  

Many high school institutions across the U.S. use data visualization tools to centralize all student information. GuidEd Insight, however, enables you to easily interpret student-level data, or zoom out and analyze overarching, long-term trends in college outcomes by district, school, program or student demographics. 

Technology can speed up and simplify this data analysis, leaving advisors time to focus their efforts on what they do best – building relationships and facilitating successful college outcomes.  

How to analyze and apply educational ‘big data’ to solve academic challenges 

Every year, high schools and colleges collect big data on everything — from attendance, course-taking, grades, and test scores to dining hall swipes and sporting game attendance. High schools and colleges also constantly research the personal, non-academic attributes and factors that impact success, trying to understand gaps and strengths within their programs. 

GuidEd Insight can leverage this type of data to enable high school advisors to track student progress throughout college, provide awareness of when to intervene, and identify long-term trends over time. From assessing the impact of your own college preparation programs to evaluating the support systems at different universities for low-income, first-generation, or other marginalized groups, you can gain truly meaningful insights that improve future student experiences with GuidEd Insight.  

GuidEd Insight understands the challenges that the educational community faces. Counselors and school districts want to enrich every student’s college decision process, but limited time and resources make finding the right fit for students difficult. Additionally, schools and CBOs struggle to understand what the data means and lack the expertise to contextualize the information and find actionable insights for improving student success and academic standing. GuidEd Insight is a tailored solution to each of these pain points.  

GuidEd Insight enables advisors and school districts to use their students’ college enrollment data to improve college and career readiness and encourage early intervention. The data is also used to identify actionable and effective plans.  

1. Proactively support at-risk students 

With student enrollment data, GuidEd Insight enables advisors and districts to improve outcomes and slow enrollment decline through an equity lens — seeing which students have been historically at-risk for Summer Melt, and then reaching out to current students who may reflect at-risk attributes to proactively offer support and assurance during the verification and financial aid processes, and beyond.   

2. Follow each student’s college journey

GuidEd Insight enables administrators and staff to use student enrollment data to track college journeys commencing the summer immediately following high school graduation, with end-to-end measurable persistence and completion outcomes.   

Advisors can periodically check in on student enrollment and degree status, getting real-time insight into when students need an extra nudge or haven’t enrolled in their next semester.  

3. Close the equity gap in student outcomes 

With GuidEd Insight’s analysis of overall trends and individual student journeys, advisors and educators can quickly compare college enrollment, persistence and completion outcomes by district, school, or program. In addition, they can view datasets based on a menu of standardized outcome metrics, as well as by student demographics, program characteristics and even college and degree type.  

This means you can measure successful student outcomes at the individual student level or zoom out over time and monitor big picture trends. Our tool enables you to use this information to analyze the effectiveness of college support systems and direct your students toward success during the extra-tumultuous COVID-19 environment.  

4. Evaluate college support programs  

GuidEd Insight integrates two main data sets: National Student Clearinghouse college enrollment and graduation data and student attribute data. When you analyze student performance at a university or college, pay attention to which groups of students are excelling, and which groups of students are struggling.  

If multiple students are suffering at one school but others aren’t, you can dig deeper into each student’s unique data to understand persistence and completion outcomes at the student attribute-level. By evaluating student persistence and completion at universities in context to past academic performance and student demographics, you can effectively identify which colleges are a better fit for certain students, and identify where certain groups of students may not be as well supported. GuidEd Insight enables you to understand where students are most likely to succeed and achieve a positive outcome.  

5. Gain insight into your college preparation impact 

GuidEd Insight’s use of historical data integrated with long-term reports of college outcomes enables counselors and high school districts to see into which college prep programs are linked with high college enrollment, persistence and completion rates, and what college prep programs are linked with less desirable college outcomes.  

From there, you can work toward directing students towards the more impactful programs and preparation activities, while strengthening or improving your lower-performing programs. Benchmark your current program impact, and work toward hitting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) around your objectives and goals.  

Alexander Jean-Baptiste


Alexander Jean-Baptiste


Alexander has an extensive amount of executive-level business development experience and government contracting success. He brings over 17 years of business development, consulting, and entrepreneurial experience to Degrees of Change.

Learn more about Alex