All the hype about big data

All the hype about big data

We’ve all seen it happen. We go shopping for shoes on our favorite website, decide not to buy, then log into social media to see a display of—guess what?—shoe ads! Data mining is certainly not new, but as technology has infiltrated more and more of our daily lives, it has become more common and more prolific. It actually can be substantially more complex than matching your social media ads to your most recent online shopping.

Who is using big data?

It’s fairly well-known that big data is often credited with Obama’s election success in 2012. This video from Bloomberg describes this in more detail.

Retailers obviously use big data too. Retailers can mine a customer’s purchase history in order to send specific coupons targeted at his or her needs. And not just to send coupons for the type of toothpaste a person bought, but to try to predict based on thousands of pieces of data what that person might be ready to purchase next. This is not the use of just one piece of data, but complex math based on patterns of purchases over time—both yours and many millions of other people.

Why should educators care?

Is there a role for predictive analytics to improve teaching and increase student learning? One school district in Georgia thinks so, and is trying to use data to predict potential pitfalls for students before they happen, so that educators can intervene. For example, students who drop out may have historically had a pattern of absences and performance issues that could be used to identify students who may be thinking of dropping out. If educators can identify which students are at risk of dropping out based on data, targeted interventions can be provided to try to keep students in school. It’s almost like Back to the Future, when Marty knows what’s going to happen before it actually does.

Does your school need help?

How is your district using data and predictive analytics? Metiri has many tools that can help schools gather data to inform decisions. Call or email us to get more information or schedule a demonstration.

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