Georgia district adopts data analysis tools

IBM today announced a Smarter Education project with Gwinnett County Public Schools to apply predictive analytics and Web-based software technologies to help improve student performance and achievement.

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), located in the metro Atlanta area, is the largest school system in Georgia. Gwinnett County Public Schools first began working with IBM to collect and integrate data, analyze that data and report student results from kindergarten through 12th grade. Now with the launch of eCLASS, a new digital curriculum and instruction initiative, they are using an integrated solution of Cognos and SPSS tools to help guide their interactions with students to improve early intervention and assist overall student achievement.

"Ten years ago we didn't realize how we could harness the power from that foundation to get 'smarter' about using analytics to provide better insight to student needs," said Scott Futrell, Chief Information Officer, Gwinnett County Public Schools. "Today, we use all of the key components of the IBM Smarter Education strategy. Together with Gwinnett's existing student applications and learning management solution, we are positioned to use analytics to quickly recognize students who need help, identify potential interventions, and ultimately track student success over time."

The IBM Smarter Education Solution pairs IBM's analytics with student interface software, such as the solution offered by ConnectEDU. Together, these offerings are designed to use data to get closer to schools and solve problems, such as:

  • Integrating data from multiple sources to provide students and administrators with insights as students progress both in the classroom and toward their life goals
  • Establishing and coordinating early-warning systems for at-risk students using predictive analytics to identify those in need of intervention and support
  • Building collaborative learning communities with teachers, students, parents, and specialists to work together to identify and implement instructional intervention plans to improve student performance
  • Utilizing data aggregation and analytics capabilities to identify intervention and program efficacy

"In collaboration with partners like IBM, we produce recommendations for students that are grounded in real-time, actionable data," said Craig Powell, ConnectEDU CEO. "Through our proprietary learner-level data capabilities, we are dedicated to ensuring that each learner's education, career and financial decisions are data driven and aligned to ensuring them a future of possibilities."