EdTech - What Can AI Do For You...

Yet another research study is highlighting the increasing adoption rate of AI.  This study commissioned by IBM released just last month (May, 2021) shows almost one third of the over 5,500 companies represented are using artificial intelligence (AI) and over half say their companies are exploring AI. Of course none of that justifies AI for your company but it does prompt the question, “What could AI do for my business?”  Let’s explore some ways AI could benefit Edtech companies.

AI’s Impact on Technology

Improving the student learning journey

“Improving” is a subjective term that deserves context from the student. Too often we presume demonstrated knowledge or skill-level are the only details to measure but aligning confidence to competence level can be important too. You want your knowledgeable students to be confident enough to perform, and your overconfident students to better align their knowledge level with their confidence level. A simple pre-course self assessment helps the student reflect on both of these dimensions as a starting point. Ask them to reflect on what their confidence level is on the topic and where knowledge is concerned the student can be asked to define the level of mastery they are setting as their objective, i.e. competent, proficient, mastery. Setting a learning goal establishes a conscious commitment for the student and makes it clear to you the learning objective you should help them attain right from the start. By analyzing all student activity relative to their results your service can understand the relationship between time spent and completion results of mid-course exercises, topic assessments, mid-course exams, etc. With that data properly analyzed you can provide the student a probability of them achieving their desired outcome as they proceed through the course. Going one step further, you can prescribe to the student actions they can take to improve their probability of success. Going from a descriptive analysis of their probable success to guiding them with specific recommendations helps ensure you are delivering the value your students are looking for.

When the pre-course assessment is compared with a post-course assessment you are making it clear for the student how much knowledge they’ve gained aligning their confidence level with their new skills and knowledge empowering their future success. Learning solutions that account for this dynamic can easily provide a descriptive insight on the results highlighting to the student and their organization the newfound knowledge, confidence, and alignment between the two, that was gained through the experience your solution provided.

As more learning activity occurs generating more data for analysis you are able to suggest increasingly effective learning recommendations. The more data you have on students beyond their learning activity the more relevant your suggestions can be when you can draw correlations with things like the student’s age, company department they are in or declared majors/minors, etc. AI can identify valuable correlations to apply to recommendations that otherwise go unnoticed. And anything you can do to generate more learning activity, the best measure of an edtech company’s “stickiness”, only serves to highlight your value to the student and the organization or school they are a part of.

Improving the client experience

At a fundamental level being able to represent descriptive analytics on such things as time invested by students, by groups, or by topics in visualizations versus traditional reporting helps the data become more meaningful.

Delivering net impact scores on both knowledge and confidence level gains by student groups/departments, topics, etc. puts you and your clients in constant touch with all student impact allowing for proactive involvement.

A well designed analytics platform results in what becomes a much more impressive reporting interface presenting visualizations making it easier to discern valuable insights from the data where tabular reports have been the norm. Edtech reporting interfaces rarely earn rave reviews from clients and students. But using an AI platform that enhances the reporting function with visualizations and a rich range of filtering, sharing, and exporting functions has the potential to accomplish that.

AI’s Impact on Business

A well designed AI deployment for an edtech company creates opportunities for reducing costs and improving scalability while accelerating revenue and increasing profitability.

Reduced Costs/Improved Scalability:
  • Scalability: Deploying technology optimized for ingesting, analyzing, and presenting analyzed data at volume makes data transformation and AI operations more scalable and cost competitive.
  • Manual Effort: The amount of man-hours and money invested in the mostly administrative chore of responding to reporting enhancements is greatly reduced if not eliminated.
  • Time to Market: Deploying a purpose-built AI platform to underpin data-related features reduces the time-to-market and expense of future development costs.
  • Self Service: As customers become more familiar with their own data and results they become more self-sufficient generating less of a customer service load.
Increased Revenue:
  • User Engagement: Turning students into fans by improving outcomes generates “pull” from an audience that advocates for more and continued access to your service.
  • Marketing Advantage: Leveraging the increased analytics capabilities in your marketing efforts to highlight the scale and range of student and customer outcomes draws the attention of prospects desiring more visibility to edtech’s impact for their enterprise.
  • Customer Loyalty: Customers (businesses or schools who license edtech) will come to rely on constant access to knowledge and confidence improvements and appreciate how your service facilitates aligning their efforts to business or academic objectives.
  • Expanded Utilization: The resulting expanded utilization and greater enterprise-wide adoption improves renewal rates while average contract values (ACV) increase.
  • Increase Renewals: As renewal rates improve and ACV increases more energy can be invested in new account acquisition.
  • AI Enhanced Value Proposition: The good reputation the AI enhancements help generate will be amplified through your AI-enhanced marketing details and word-of-mouth from satisfied customers and students to prospective customers and students increasing new client acquisitions.
Greater Profitability:
  • Reduced Customer Acquisition Cost: As renewal rates, ACV, and new account acquisition improves your market share accelerates.
  • Reduced Cost per Customer: Due to the scalable nature of a purpose-built AI platform the IT cost per customer declines as the business grows.
  • New Investment Opportunities: Gross profit greatly improves allowing the edtech company greater flexibility to reinvest the increasing profits and further enhance market position.


There’s no doubt AI can help edtech businesses improve outcomes for their clients and students while being a catalyst for great growth and profitability. As the survey I mentioned suggests, sometimes the biggest challenge is understanding the most effective way to start your own AI journey. Identifying a proof of concept to not only validate viability but to build enthusiastic adoption of the approach is an important first step which can benefit greatly from working alongside a partner you can learn from.

If you’re involved in education or edtech and would like to discuss how any of these ideas or any of your own could be applied please don’t hesitate to reach out, my associates and I here at Qualetics Data Machines would love to help!