Entrinsik Increases Data Transparency for Canadore College with Informer

By utilizing Entrinsik Informer Dashboards, Canadore College found an effective solution for visualizing their data.

Canadore College in North Bay, Ontario, Canada is a public college of applied arts and technology. The school offers over 65 full-time post-secondary programs to 3,500 domestic students, most of whom come from outside of Canadore’s catchment area, a geographical area within the college’s district.

Terry Thomason is the Institutional Research and Strategic Analyst for the school. In Canada, all public institutions are run by the provincial government. The government conducts their own surveys on students and collects data on subjects such as performance and comparisons between schools in the same provinces. Ontario has 24 colleges and a population of 13 million. The information gathered is compiled into spreadsheets that can exceed 100,000 rows.

Thomason did not have a way to easily break up the data to make it understandable and usable for faculty and staff at his school and needed to filter it so that they would only see pertinent information.

Thomason also needed a way to present Canadore’s own school data. Program reviews occur in three-year cycles at Canadore and are comprised of three parts including application information, key performance indicators (KPIs), and academic performance of students.

It was crucial that this data become available in a digestible format and be compatible with Ellucian Banner Solution.

With the implementation of Informer Dashboards, Canadore has found an effective solution for visualizing their data. According to Thomason, “Dashboards make the data accessible.”

The school tracks attrition rate, reviewing if students have switched programs or left the school altogether. They also track applications by school board (district/ county), drilling down into high schools and students’ program interests.

It is essential for recruiters to know which programs high schoolers are interested in, and what messages resonate with them.

With respect to the key performance indicators section of the program reviews, Dashboards demonstrate how Canadore’s colleges are performing compared to the rest of the province. This is determined based on metrics such as graduation rates, number of graduates by year, and number of students that make it from the application to the graduation stage.

The academic performance portion of program reviews is determined by metrics like probation and withdrawals. Thomason can drill down into this Dashboard to see more detailed information such as which program these students belong to and their grades. He focuses on unsuccessful grades, looking for what courses are being failed the most by students.

Informer has led to a culture change at Canadore College.

“Informer has changed our focus of how we look at the data.” Thomason said, “Dashboards are really a conversation piece. Dashboards open up the conversation to ask the questions, so you know the context behind data.”

Informer is making faculty much more receptive to data, as it is allowing them to not only be more involved in the decisions being made around their programs but shows them exactly why decisions are being made. Thomason can view the data to identify students who are struggling academically.

Dashboards have made this apparent, and any student with a GPA of 2.0 or lower is engaged before they get to the end point of the semester when it is too late to turn grades around.

Flagged students are supported through tutoring and student services to improve retention. Informer Dashboards have led to increased data transparency at Canadore.