collegesCapture Higher Ed — a technology and marketing firm aimed at higher education recruiting — has released new technology that is a comprehensive predictive engine. Envision uses “big data” and algorithms to predict which students are most likely to enroll in a particular college or university.

Envision’s predictions are made by combining thousands of data points that best fit the institution’s outcome.

“We’re very confident in the engine’s accuracy and transparent about its results. In fact, we’ll go head-to-head with any model out there,” said Capture CEO Steve Huey in a news release. “We’re all about helping our partners make better decisions with their scarce resources on a day-to-day basis, and Envision will help them do that.”

Early testing has indicated Envision predictions have 90 percent accuracy. According to the release, “the Capture data science team has achieved a 70 percent increase in the targeting accuracy of direct mail campaigns using Envision applicant predictions.”

“The current enrollment management predictive models are theoretically based, meaning their predictions are derived from a limited set of variables that are assumed to fit the data,” said Dr. Thom Golden, vice president of data science for the company. “But those models are antiquated, sometimes running only once per year. Envision is empirically based, meaning it automatically selects indicators best suited to an institution’s data, which allows us to make more accurate predictions over time.”

In the past year, Capture Labs, the data science wing of Capture Higher Ed, has made several hires that have made Envision possible. They include:

  • Dr. Thomas Golden, VP of Data Science – Previously served as the senior associate director of undergraduate admissions for Vanderbilt University.
  • Dr. Brad Weiner, Data Scientist – Previously worked for the vice provost for undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
  • Pete Barwis, Data Scientist – Former CEO and chief data scientist of Third Coast Analytics.

Capture Higher Ed is currently serving 75 colleges and universities. Among other things, it tracks prospective students’ behavior while visiting a school’s website and helps recruiters communicate with them based on their actions.