August 11, 2020


Connecting People

Australian Catholic Uni turns analytics onto student wellbeing – Projects – Cloud – Software

The Australian Catholic University (ACU) has turned its freshly united info surroundings into a info lake to supply a solitary view of student progress.

The info lake takes advantage of Microsoft’s Power BI and Azure info platform to guidance learners who could want more help or who are at threat of dropping out from the university solely.

ACU located these insights by combining info streams from a number of resources together with student administration methods and buyer romantic relationship administration (CRM) resources, the university’s chief information and facts officer and IT director Niranjan Prabhu explained to iTnews.

ACU was 1 of 5 universities to pilot info lake progress for a “360 diploma view of students” with the Council of Australasian University Directors of Data Technologies (CAUDIT), Prabhu reported.

He additional that the university was keen to deliver with each other different environments from across its nine campuses in Australia and Italy to cater to its developing cohort of in excess of 35,000 learners.

“We’re building and capturing more info than ever just before, on an significantly different set of info resources, giving us with the chance to understand [and] guidance student results by the student lifecycle,” Prabhu reported.

“Effectively managing that lifecycle is the key to excellent learning results and student results.”

Popular threat elements involve slipping grades, financial anxiety, and social or environmental elements.

ACU can now determine these styles in the info alongside with engagement, participation and attendance info as early warning symptoms where by more guidance is wanted, no matter if that be in the form of financial aid, tutoring or pastoral guidance.

Nevertheless, it is a delicate balance to get that right though respecting students’ privateness, Prabhu reported.

“We definitely want to strike a respectful and conscientious balance though attaining the greatest results for both of those the student and the university.”

A new assistant

Portion of the guidance strategy will involve the progress of AVA – the ACU Virtual Assistant.

AVA is made as a “level 1 provider desk 1-end shop” to help the IT guidance team cope with a significant quantity of regime enquiries.

The chatbot is driven by Microsoft Azure and takes advantage of all-natural language processing abilities and integrations with ServiceNow, Microsoft Mastering Pathways, Who-bot (a prebuilt Teams bot), and ACU’s COVID-19 FAQ to supply immediate responses any time of the evening or day.

It arrived in useful as the university transitioned to distant functioning because of to the coronavirus pandemic.

“[The IT team] weren’t flooded with calls about COVID simply because of the bot,” Prabhu reported, with no calls left waiting for extended periods thanks to AVA’s fast responses.

“Furthermore, when interacting with our chatbot, if the personnel member calls for further aid, there is the selection to find help via handover to a stay chat or log a provider ticket by ServiceNow.

“This signifies personnel are completely supported no issue their issue.”

Additional abilities these types of as voice activation are prepared for the upcoming to enhance the user encounter, specifically for customers of the ACU community residing with a disability.

Importantly, the energy expended to develop a sturdy and unified info surroundings and distant functions during the pandemic will speed up function on upcoming projects.

“The foundations are there to develop on all the new electronic footprints when initiating new projects, which means a lot quicker turnaround [instances] and more successful function,” Prabhu reported.