This is why classroom analytics needs to be easy to learn, with simple drag-and-drop technology, and the capability to handle both big and small data sets. Students and teachers need the ability to create and share interactive dashboards quickly. They need to have access to technology that they will be able to use on their own, without help from an IT department or a computer science degree.
Seeing and understanding
At Tableau, we say that 'a picture is worth a million rows of data.' We focus on making insights come alive with data visualizations that help people communicate complex ideas simply. Expressive data visualization goes beyond static charts to create multi-faceted views of data. Add that expressiveness to easy-to-master, drag-and-drop navigation and you have a powerful data analytics tool that everyone can use.
This is extremely applicable in the classroom too. Educators often use visual aids to help students grasp difficult concepts. Taking this a step further, modern day analytics software makes data easy to understand and derive meaning from. For students, working with their teachers to visually analyze data helps them derive true meaning and easily find the answers in their schoolwork.
Success in the process
Schools in Singapore have already begun making data analytics part and parcel of student life. One example of how analytics has been successfully introduced into a teaching curriculum can be seen at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), a leading institution of higher learning in Singapore. When the lecturers at NYP's School of Information Technology first introduced data analytics into its curriculum in 2011, they were conscious that they want to allow more time for the students to get actual hands-on data analytics experience, and not have them work on complex, traditional data analytics tools, which require quite a bit of coding.
NYP has had much success with their data analytics program since then. Students who have graduated from NYP, and have already started working, have commented that what they picked up in these classes were the most useful skills they have learned for their future jobs.
Furthermore, the number of students who chose the data analytics modules have also grown significantly. Lecturers from other faculties, such as those from Business and Engineering, have also caught on and started experimenting with adding analytics into their classes. The lecturers themselves have started to use analytics tools for their administrative work.
Future ready data skills
Data analytics used to be specialized work that only trained analysts or data scientists engaged in. Not anymore, as data analytics tools are simpler to learn and deploy.
At the same time, data is becoming more accessible and more dependable to the everyday, non-technical user. In today's workplace, workers outside of IT are demanding deeper, more meaningful analytics experiences. They are looking to data to help them find answers on sales performance, market projection, operation efficiency, resource optimization, and much more. Businesses are increasingly adopting platforms that allow everyone to apply statistics, ask a series of questions, and stay in the flow of their analysis.
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