Students walking on campus
Nottingham Trent University Leads The Way In Learner Analytics
Case Study

StREAM powered by HP IDOL triggers timely support for students.


When university students find it difficult to stay the course they need support to help them engage effectively, get the most out of their studies and keep on track. Swift tutor intervention is vital and Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is now leading the way through an early warning system developed by DTP Solutionpath. Powered by HP IDOL, StREAM enables timely tutor support helping to increase student attainment, as well as promoting a sense of belonging.


“We have great data, but the traditional approach to using it is very much a rear view mirror activity and if you’re always looking in the rear view, you’re heading for a crash. We needed a way to look forward and exploit our existing data to the best advantage of our students and that is what StREAM has given us.” 

Mike Day, Director of Information Systems, Nottingham Trent University



Moving on to higher education is an exciting challenge for young people but for various reasons, many thousands decide to drop out across the UK higher education sector each year. There are over two million students in the UK, but according to latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 12.9 per cent of first years dropped out in 2012/13. Not only is this a worrying statistic for students, but with UK tuition fees currently running at up to £9,000 a year, it’s also bad news for universities who lose millions of pounds in revenue.

With 28,000 students, NTU offers over 500 courses. National surveys show an impressive employment record with 93 per cent of graduates and 91 per cent of postgraduates finding jobs or going on to further study six months after leaving.



Developed by DTP Solutionpath, the learner analytics solutions - called Student Retention, Engagement and Monitoring (StREAM) - is powered by HP Intelligent Operating Layer (IDOL). IDOL is a Big Data analytics platform that uses pattern matching to extract meaning from content.Because HP IDOL is based on ‘meaning’ rather than text-based searching it can be used on any number of information sources, including audio, video, images, social media and web content as well as structured data.



Although it’s still early days, NTU is confident of achieving its main aim of creating a climate of belonging that encourages and supports every student to be as successful as possible. The project has revealed new insights into the importance of strong engagement, showing students that even the most able students only have a 40 per cent chance of staying the course if they have low engagement. At the other end of the scale, those students who are highly engaged have a very high chance of success, regardless of their background. The system also has potential to further improve student retention rates and promises to bring significant financial benefits such that the return on investment case is easy to make.