Make Data-Driven Decisions the Status Quo

March 23, 2024 |  5 Key Initiatives, Budget, Data, Students
3 min

LabStats data can spark changes across higher education institutions and improve student perceptions of available resources.

As IT leaders begin to step into the spotlight to take on student success and budget challenges, they’ll need powerful and reliable tools to collect and analyze data. Hardware and software usage data, especially when collected over time and across an entire institution, can provide the necessary insights to drive change in higher education.

“We’ve learned that data sparks insights and that insights lead to better decisions.”

Educause 2023 Top 10 IT Issues

What usage data is available?

LabStats is the leading computer lab usage tracking software that collects data in three categories: hardware, software, and user. Within the categories, data is marked by time and location, enabling a wide range of combinations that are relevant to higher education IT teams.

LabStats provides the following data points:

  • Login count (by user, computer or location)
  • Session start time, end time, duration
  • Unique users who have logged in by location
  • Utilization percentage of an application over time
  • Usage time (of computers and applications)
  • Application launch counts, times and duration
  • Focus times of applications (sorts out background apps)
  • Inventory of applications 
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How to visualize usage data

LabStats reports are easy to use and can be produced with just a few clicks. LabStats reports visualize computer lab license usage, giving IT teams decision-enabling hardware and software usage data without a burdensome ongoing time investment. Raw data and reports can be shared with permission levels or exported to keep all relevant stakeholders informed, regardless of technical proficiency. 

LabStats Power BI Dashboard Sample

LabStats’ Power BI Dashboards are a quick-start option to data analysis at scale. The Software Usage Template enables IT teams to manage and optimize license expenditures with knowledge of when, where, and how applications are used. The Computer Usage Template enables teams to visualize meaningful location and allocation decisions with knowledge of where and when hardware is used.

The LabStats API is a powerful system that allows communication between LabStats and institution-owned business intelligence applications and tools. The ability to connect these separate systems is incredibly powerful and allows organizations to integrate data collected by LabStats into their own systems and processes to achieve new capabilities, automate processes, and more. 

Key Actionable Insights

LabStats data can spark changes across higher education institutions that range from reducing budget pressure to optimizing physical space on campus to improving student perceptions of available resources. 

Software Insights:

  • Deploy software only to the locations where students need it
  • Reduce image bloat by eliminating unused software in certain locations
  • Identify & eliminate wasted software spend
  • Renegotiate licensing purchases based on actual usage

Hardware Insights:

  • Reallocate computers to areas of high demand
  • Adjust hardware refresh schedules according to usage to keep heavy users happy and save money on rarely used equipment
  • Verify that ADA resources are available and used appropriately to prevent liability exposure
  • Increase IT department efficiency by aligning service time-spend with hardware use

Significant goals can be achieved when these data insights turn into action. Consider how the following institutions used LabStats to make data-driven decisions.

  • Southern Cross University reviewed usage data to reallocate computer stations and adjust software budgets to meet students’ needs. 
  • Pittsburg State University identified wasted funds and created a plan to save $900k while simultaneously improving the student experience. 
  • Boston University learned what software they needed to make more available and how they could maximize the impact of their IT budget investments
  • Kean University redesigned computer lab layouts, adjusted lab schedules and resolved inventory problems. 
  • Lewis and Clark College determined which labs to maintain, licenses to update, and how to deliver accurate reports on campus computer usage. 
  • Texas Christian University ran computer labs more smoothly and made budgeting decisions with each lab in mind. 
  • An east coast community college saved approximately $600k on just one application and maintained user satisfaction. 

Using data as a strategic asset, and campus IT software asset management as an avenue to making confident data-informed decisions, allows IT teams to achieve the holy grail of IT asset management: optimizing the budget and serving users better. Providing users what they need, where they need it, and when they need it, accomplishes this.

To learn more about how hardware and software usage data can help you drive better decisions at your university, download our ebook: 5 Key Initiatives for IT Decision Makers in Higher Ed in 2024.

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