Making Data-Driven Decisions Around Post-Secondary Education

Making Data-Driven Decisions Around Post-Secondary Education

Moving from a manual to automated process

Analytic Insights

The Education Trust, which seeks to drive conversations about how the state’s public education system can better serve students of color and students from low-income backgrounds, was looking to use data to help policymakers, counselors, parents, and students make more informed decisions about post-secondary education.




Identify, define, and develop a deployment roadmap to promote faster and broader data access and improved analytics.


Impact Analysis

Review desired timing for gaps that need to be addressed, as well as platform alternatives by time to value, business impact, and dependencies.


Pilot Deployment

Design and implement data warehouse architecture from data sources identified in the assessment.

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The Education Trust is a resource for policymakers, educators, parents, community leaders, and others in the academic space, and needs to be seen as a thought leader with access to meaningful data, models of success, and tools for change. However, they were challenged with the inability to consistently produce and publish current data and analysis, due to the need to manually access data without a data warehouse or centralized integrated data platform. Well-designed critical reporting was difficult to update and maintain, due to siloed groups with limited communication and a lack of documentation and standardized data extraction processes, resulting in “stale” data and abandoned reporting. The customer was looking to replace copy and paste processes in excel to capture data from third party websites. 


Archetype created a process whereby integrating data from both The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), a department of education website, as well as College Scorecard, an online tool with data on college graduation rate, employment rate, average amount borrowed, and loan default rate. A process was developed to download and extract four years of access databases, which was loaded into AWS and integrated using Snowflake. A view was created, using Tableau, through the College Results Dataset, an interactive user-friendly web tool with information on nearly every four-year university in the country. 


The new process that was implemented streamlined the acquisition and integration of data from IPEDS and College Scorecard into an easy-to-use database through College Results. This allowed prospective students of four-year universities in the United States to examine graduation rates, see how those rates have changed over time, and learn about the track records of each university in graduating diverse groups of students. The new database helps policymakers, counselors, parents, and students make more informed decisions about post-secondary education.