Transact Insights harnesses the power of student data

May 18, 2023


These days, anytime we make a purchase, use a store rewards card, or patronize a store, data specific to our spending habits and trends is automatically generated. Data left unanalyzed and studied, are merely numbers, however, the information produced can be a potential goldmine for those who use it wisely. Transact Campus recognizes the value of this data, which is why we developed Transact Insights, an innovative analytics solution for our higher education clients. 

Transact Insights provides easy access to the data and analytics administrators need to gain operational and student engagement improvements. According to a Campus Technology study, “84% of institutions believe the use of data is critical to survival,” however, “only 29% of campuses surveyed have robust, secure, or user-friendly tools for supporting data collection.” Campuses without the resources for a dedicated data analytics team are often limited to basic exports, one-time manual analysis, and simplistic visualization. 


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Regular reporting requires importing data into costly data pipelines—with the transformations, cleaning, and data governance applied individually and sometimes manually. Transact insights allows you to make data-driven decisions using flexible, detailed reports. Transact Insights enables campus administrators to: 

  • Quickly view, analyze, and export data 
  • Access a centralized hub featuring visual Business Intelligence (BI) reports and dashboards 
  • Gain valuable insights into industry trends (coming soon
  • Compare your school with anonymized data from comparable schools (coming soon
  • Access customized and flexible analysis (coming soon

Higher ed clients among first to test Transact Insights 

Although Transact Insights hasn’t officially launched and isn’t available just yet, several of our clients, including Western Washington University, are currently in the beta-testing phase so we can gauge its full impact and refine any features if necessary.  

"Transact Insights allows me to see our payment trends on demand. We can see the peaks and valleys, how we are receiving payments and what kind of payments we’re receiving. All of it without having to pull numerous reports and compiling the data manually. This helps us to determine what we’re doing right and where we need to improve. Seeing this data can help in guiding when we can invest any surplus cash as well,” said Becky Kellow, Assistant Director of Treasury Services at Western Washington University.  

Once launched, Transact Insights will provide a treasure trove of information for clients using any of our Integrated Payments, Campus Commerce, or Campus ID solutions.   

Ian Ashworth, Director of API Platform Product Management at Transact, feels strongly about the benefits of Transact Insights. 

“In today’s campuses, every interaction a student has with the systems and processes that enable their daily life is usually recorded as a transaction within a digital system. These transactions range from where they eat, if they attend their lectures, pay their tuition bill on time, where and when they move across campus, how often they do laundry, or how many Red Bulls they buy at the library at 2 am before exams. These transactions hold a wealth of data on student behavior on campus. Essentially, this is the richest source of information on student behavior throughout their time with an institution—and today, not much is done with it. Imagine if you could harness that data and merge it with your Student Information System (SIS) data on academic performance to create an anonymous profile of a successful student, or one that is struggling,” Ashworth said. 


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Student data are key to understanding behavior and adapting 

Daphne Koller, an expert in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI), was once a professor at Stanford University, teaching computer science. 

In her 2021 article, “Collecting Data on Our Students is the only Way Forward,” Koller discusses the importance of collecting student data to improve student experience and better prepare them for success. 

“There’s a growing recognition that insights provided by data analysis are essential to the short- and long-term support of a student’s learning journey. By analyzing trends in data, instructors can identify broader patterns and use them to improve the overall classroom experience, inform active and collaborative learning practices, and assess the effectiveness of the teaching and learning environment. If institutions, platform developers, and technologists work together, we could make a truly big breakthrough in education and enable a better life for many more of our students,” she said. 

At Transact, we couldn’t agree more. We’re excited at the prospect of partnering with our higher education clients to achieve these goals by offering Transact Insights, which provides an all-important snapshot of student behavior which can be leveraged to help improve student outcomes. 

“We've seen ChatGPT take millions of questions and answers to train one of the most complex models of human knowledge ever built. It then uses this model to create responses to everyday questions based on the probability of a human having given that particular response. Why don't we take that concept, but instead train that model on these millions of tiny interactions students have with a campus through their lives? The key is the data. Transact is investing in next generation cloud technologies, data warehousing, and lake and analytics technologies. We are at the forefront of campus technology providers that can enable access to this data to train these models. 

These models would be able to classify any student automatically as being at-risk. It could provide recommendations of how to modify that student's behavior to get them back on track. Perhaps we find that students that eat lunch with other students perform better, but this student skips it regularly? Let's offer some incentive meals or provide an invite to a lunch activity. What about attendance? Let's send a targeted reward for getting a five-day attendance streak.  Or we could go further. We could prioritize help to those that need it most. 

At Transact, we recognize that the key element of privacy and security of the data we collect. That's why we de-anonymize it at source in any of these models - it is never stored in Transact Insights in any form that can be traced back to a single student. Only users with sufficient privileges to access the private student data would be able to correlate it back to a single student using existing operational reporting,” Ashworth said. 

Get early access to Transact Insights 

Sign up now to be one of the first institutions to access Transact Insights. Once you’re connected, new features will integrate seamlessly to increase the impact of your data.  

Get in touch with our experts for more information: