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Rapid Insight: Higher Education case study

Bridge: Fueling decision-making across a community college system

Bridge on a Laptop
  • Seamless data access for hundreds of staff members

  • Live data dashboards instead of static spreadsheets

  • Streamlined collaboration based on up-to-date information

“Every company has things they want to improve,” says Charles Ansell, Chief Operating Officer of the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH). “Every company also has data that can drive decision-making. The key is to get everyone in on the action to try and solve problems.”

With seven colleges and hundreds of staff and faculty members, CCSNH has many people available to “get in on the action” and solve problems. Bridge, by Rapid Insight, helps Ansell and colleagues across the System access data more easily than ever before to make data-driven decisions.

CCSNH recently introduced an innovative and ambitious workforce initiative for the Granite State. The “65 by 25” initiative will help ensure that 65% of adults aged 25 and older will have some form of post-secondary education by 2025. Achieving this goal will prepare New Hampshire for a vibrant economic future.

Solving big problems and achieving big goals, such as the 65 by 25 initiative, requires new ways of working and thinking.

Like most businesses, employees across CCSNH are accustomed to using static spreadsheets and PDF documents to inform decision-making. Those reports are essentially outdated as soon as they are published and are often delayed due to backlogs in report requests. Inevitably, those reports require further conversation between the analyst and individual recipients, leading to more iterations and more back-and-forth.

With Bridge, users at all levels of the System have immediate access to data and the ability to explore it easily.

“Bridge allows us to democratize data access through its ready and helpful interface. It enables anyone to use data to know if they’re successful at the things that they care about,” said Ansell.

Student retention is something that Ansell and his colleagues care deeply about and is a key aspect of the 65 by 25 initiative. “Bridge helps us focus on term-to-term retention, arming people across the System with critical and immediate access to data. As an example, I can know, right now, which students haven’t registered yet and how we can find and engage with them. Sometimes that’s all it takes.”

Bridge decentralizes analytics, inspires investigation, and powers curiosity across any institution. It arms users with knowledge that can drive performance.

“Very often, too much attention is placed on just ‘doing the thing,’ not the outcomes. It’s rare to have strong performance management along the way,” says Ansell. “If a company has measures in place, and they need to manage to those measures, you need to have data-informed conversations throughout the process. Bridge delivers that for us.”