The 360 Student View Dashboard for University Admissions

The 360 Student View Dashboard for University Admissions

In our last blog in the BI Analytics for University Admissions series we will illustrate a complete admissions dashboard application built in Tableau. This is the grand finale where all the process, data, and design elements come together and form a complete end-user application.

Having built the solid data foundations with a single view of the student and her lifecycle, we are in a good position to start asking and answering some of the vital business questions. We will walk through each section of the dashboard explaining its meaning, visual design and an example of a business question it can answer.  At the end I will go over a complete dashboard view where all sections and elements fall into one place.

1.The Butterfly of Diversity

This collective diversity among institutions is one of the great strengths of America’s higher education system. Preserving that diversity is essential for many colleges and universities to fulfill their primary mission: providing a high-quality education. In our dashboard, the so called “Butterfly Chart” below helps understand the applicants’ population and its diversity across the dimensions of residency, gender or ethnicity.

The chart is interactive and enables the end user to look at the big picture but also focus on the individual ethnicity groups.

We can now answer some of the demographics questions, for example:

  • How many Asian women with the U.S. permanent residency applied for admission process this year?
  • Why do I have only 8.7% Black of African American Female applicants as compared to 11.7% Male?



2.Degree and Program Profile

The education degree and program popularity are of a paramount importance for universities to balance their faculties, allocate space and provision resources. The combination of a Program bar and a Degree pie chart visualizations help profile the prospective student body and their interest in specific faculties.

The admission and a faculty planning offices have a great tool to help answer some of the crucial questions.

For example, I can anticipate 1,708 students to be admitted this year for Master of Engineering, and the two most popular programs: Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering—248 and 236 respective applicants.

3.GRE Scores Histogram

The admission process is an elaborate effort and a balancing act to enroll the right number of the best possible students.  With the number of applicants increasing each year, the higher education institutions are looking to accept students that are the best-fit to their programs. One of the popular tools that help with the assessment are the graduate students’ GRE Scores.

To provide a better visibility into the students’ GRE scores we decided on using a histogram: the scores are bundled into a 5 point-wide bins, the height of each column reflects the size of the student population that scored within a respective bin.  For example, the column in the center represents a body of 279 students with GRE Verbal Scores anywhere between 150 and 154.


4.The Ultimate 360 Student View Dashboard with the Admissions Pipeline

When we connect all the dots, a powerful and insightful University Admissions dashboard emerges. The dashboard provides a 360 degree view of the student, building on a common understanding of the prospect/applicant/student profile.   All dashboard parts are interactive and clickable: each user driven selection applies a filter or an action driving all other visualization. The view provides an instant visibility into the core admission metrics, all in one page, along with an ability to slice and dice and further drill-down.

The bottom section of the dashboard adds value to the admission funnel view. The office can clearly see the pipeline of prospects and applicants in comparison with the prior years’ figures. As illustrated above:  in 2015-2016 academic year we had a total of  3,603 prospects out of which only 2,746 applied so far; among which 954 got admitted; 311 accepted with the final 310 enrollment. Since 2014-2015 academic year also got selected, I can see an instant comparison with the figures inside the pipeline visualization.

Now I can further slice and dice by narrowing down the view to a specific student ethnicity, demographics, degree, and focus on the 115 applicants with the top GRE scores in the 170 band.

We invite you to discuss different scenarios and the details of the dashboard with us. Please visit us at the upcoming  Higher Ed DW conference in April—we will be demonstrating the concept and the application.





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