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The Education Blog
Ray Fleming's take on what's interesting in Education IT in Australia

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  • Blog Post: Free Power BI training sources

    I’ve written about the Microsoft Power BI service a few times over the last year, and shared some of the work that I’ve done with it. If you have any interest in data and turning it into information, then I’m an absolute fan of Power BI. And if you want to share in some of the data fun, then you might...
  • Blog Post: How to buy academic Power BI licences - a step-by-step guide

    There are a number of ways of buying A cademic Power BI li cences, so I thought I’d write a quick summary to help people, as I have had the question a few times recently from customers and partners. We make it easy to buy Power BI licences for commercial customers straight from the Power BI website,...
  • Blog Post: Using Power BI for Education Analytics in schools

    I’m often asked to talk about Education Analytics or Learning Analytics, and I use the picture above for the first part of the story every time. Not because I’m lazy, but because I think that we need to talk about the true purpose of analytics projects. We’re trying to answer questions...
  • Blog Post: Free edX Power BI course - starts next week

    There’s a brand new free edX course starting next week - “ Analysing and Visualising Data with Power BI ”, taught by Will Thompson. It is the perfect opportunity to learn how you can start to build an education analytics system for your school\TAFE\university. I am a massive fan of using Power BI in...
  • Blog Post: Australian Education Case Studies Update - November 2015

    One question that I’m asked frequently about new projects is: “ Who else is doing this? ” In some cases, what people (partners/customers) are looking for is confirmation that they’re going to be at the innovative edge - and that what they are doing hasn’t been done before. But most of the time, they...
  • Blog Post: Student drop out in Australian schools

    Yesterday media around the country reported that one in four Australian school students drop out without completing Year 12. The stories were based on a report from the Mitchell Institute, who published the report “ Educational opportunity in Australia 2015: Who succeeds and who misses out ”, and a detailed...
  • Blog Post: Learn Data Science and Machine Learning Essentials on edX

    At one stage in my career, working for fifteen years in marketing, I realised that it wasn't just enough to understand what the data told me about my customers, but to also understand how to extract stories from the data. And to do that, I had to understand the techniques for analysing data - not just...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Australia Education Partner Summits - September 2015

    We have just announced dates and venues for our 2015 Education Partner Summits in September, in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. As usual, the invitations are open for Microsoft Education Authorised Resellers and our other partners who deal with education customers. This year’s education...
  • Blog Post: Power BI in education - telling stories with data

    Last year, I recorded an example of using the Power BI in education, and specifically the Q&A service, to turn data into information on Australian universities ( you can see it here on YouTube ). Recently, I’ve been creating an example with school data, to show another way of using Power BI...
  • Blog Post: Case study - Applying Azure Machine Learning in education to student dropout

    Having recently written two articles about the theory of applying Machine Learning in Education - “ Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education ” and “ Making machine learning in education easier for every day users ” - I think it’s time to dive into a specific example of machine learning in...
  • Blog Post: Making machine learning in education easier for every day users

    Last week I wrote “ Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education ”, which started exploring the use of algorithms, alongside cloud-based machine learning in education to solve some of the key challenges facing education institutions. The problem is that it all sounds so very geeky. Hey, I just...
  • Blog Post: Two ways to use Azure Machine Learning in education

    You can't read anything about technology trends these days without reading about Big Data and the power of algorithms. It pops up in education with lots of discussions of education analytics/learning analytics and a pile of other acronyms.  I think that the discussion is so intense in education...
  • Blog Post: Event Invitation: Keep Students. Save Millions

    One of our specialist partners, S1 Consulting , work with universities and TAFE institutes across the country to help improve the value of student management systems, and the use ability for individual institutions to manage the student lifecycle and student experience. Recently, they have been working...
  • Blog Post: Open Data in Education–Sydney Open Data Day

    Two of our partners, Socrata (based in Seattle, they’re an organisation with deep expertise in open data) and Altis (a Sydney-based data  specialist who have completed a huge range of data projects with Australian education organisations) are running the “ Sydney Open Data Day ” briefing on 6 November...
  • Blog Post: Using PowerBI and open government data

    PowerBI is one of the most flexible ways to visualise data that I’ve seen (it’s just been released as part of the Office 365 service). And, what’s even better for me, is that it uses Excel as the starting point – which means that I’ve already got 90% of the skills needed to work with it. (I know I work...
  • Blog Post: What does Power BI for Office mean for education customers?

    Over the last year I’ve shared a fair amount of information on the use of business intelligence (BI) in education , with examples of ways that useful information can be unlocked from educational data, as well as looking at the new tools being created to help users get better views of their data...
  • Blog Post: Business Intelligence in schools–PowerPivot and PowerView in Excel 2010/2013

    Rod Colledge , is a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) for SQL Server, and an expert on the technology side of the use of Business Intelligence in education in Australia. For a living, he helps Microsoft customers with their own business intelligence projects, through his business at StrataDB ...
  • Blog Post: University of Washington - Moving business intelligence to the cloud

    International case studies are always good to review, because sometimes you see things that aren't being done in Australia, and give useful ideas for solving problems for Australian education institutions. Of course, many international education organisations run in a very different way to Australian...
  • Blog Post: Analytics and Business Intelligence in US education–what are the lessons for Australian universities?

    Nearly two thirds of universities in the US reported in June 2012 that analytics (or business intelligence*) was a major priority for their institution, or some departments within their institution. And 84% reported that it was more important to them than two years ago. As a single fact, that doesn't...
  • Blog Post: Using the cloud in the public sector–the Windows Azure InfoKit

    My colleagues over in the US create and update a handy one slide summary of Windows Azure resources that are specifically designed for developers using the cloud in the public sector – either because they are in public sector organisations (including education ones) or for people developing apps...
  • Blog Post: Top 5 factors which affect student retention in Higher Education

    I've been doing some work recently on student retention and student attrition in higher education. You might have seen me writing about a Tribal presentation on data sources for inputs on student retention business intelligence systems . That work has also included an analysis across a number of different...
  • Blog Post: Hear University of Canberra speaking about 'Automating the Annual Report' at the CALUMO user group

    Next week there’s an open invitation from CALUMO to attend one of their Club CALUMO meetings, in either Sydney or Melbourne. The events are run like a user group, and for the last year they’ve thrown open the doors to non-users, giving people a chance to learn about how their Business Intelligence system...
  • Blog Post: TAFE funding cuts in Australia–what do you do next?

    The latest state and national budgets are heaping the pressure on TAFE funding. And the media coverage that inevitably follows, like The Australian’s “ TAFEs spell out job losses in meetings with government as feds up pressure against cuts ”, is also pretty depressing too. CALUMO’s...
  • Blog Post: If I can track my pizza order on my phone, how about my children’s learning?

    I can track my pizza order in real time… Pizza Hut have announced the availability of a new app in Australia to allow you to or der your custom-made pizza from your Windows Phone , and in some countries, I can do the same for a Domino’s Pizza . Currently a quarter of all Pizza Hut’s...
  • Blog Post: Forget ‘Business Intelligence’ and start thinking about solving a business problem

    Yesterday, when I wrote about buying business systems for education , at the back of my mind were a number of business intelligence projects I’ve come across. What I’ve seen is that when a business intelligence project runs out of control, and starts to be ‘all things to all people’...
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