What can universities learn from student ID badges?

Visit any university campus throughout Australia and you’ll likely see students using ID badges.

While ID cards can help administrators increase school security, they also produce an incredible amount of information on a daily basis. Analysing this data enlightens those in charge to where they should focus investments.

Adjusting practices based on information 

Bill Schmarzo, chief technical officer of EIM Service Line at EMC, wrote a piece detailing how higher education analytics is affecting campuses across the globe. Between prompting prospective students to submit applications and understanding the conditions under which students perform well, there’s a lot administrators can learn.

For example, let’s say your students use their ID badges to purchase books. After gathering ID card data, you notice that the campus bookstore experiences purchasing spikes around the beginning of each semester. However, revenue slows to a painful crawl throughout the bulk of the school year.

To maintain consistent sales, figure out which types of books students are most likely to buy throughout the semester. This could entail asking them to fill out surveys and assessing ID badge data to see what sort of books they’ve purchased in the past.

This is just one out of many examples as to how purchasing an ID card printer can open a window of opportunity to universities.

Organising the information 

Crunching information on thousands of students majoring in different subjects requires some manual work. So, institutions need to create databases to easily categorise data not only from student ID badges, but also from other sources.

However, having a massive database providing details for each and every student may work against analysts. To make things easier, schools can develop separate databases for each graduating class, and categorise students by their majors.

From there, institutions can separate daily transaction data from static information. Static data consists of academic performance, home addresses and the like, while transactions may include dining hall purchases, facility entries and other interactions.

Creating incentives 

In order to drive student engagement, the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration created the Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) program. The aim is to track student extracurricular activities and give students “points” based on their level of participation.

This is where student ID badges can play a huge rule. According to Associate Dean of Pitt Business Audrey Murrell, the initiative has boosted the school’s understanding of its students.

“By collecting this hard data and making it transparent, we’re able to tangibly quantify our students’ engagement in critically important, professionally focused activities,” said Ms Murrell.

If you’d like to learn how ID badges can impact your data analysis efforts, contact the team at PPC today.