This study examines the perspectives of college personnel engaged in the consideration, launch, and use of predictive analytics tools for targeted advising. Based on interview data from college staff members at nine public two- and four-year institutions at different stages of implementation of predictive analytics software, the authors provide a broad look at the positive and negative reactions to this potentially influential educational innovation.
Overall, advisors and other end users of predictive analytics tools were more critical of them than either administrators or college personnel who helped develop their use as part of a campus-wide advising reform. In addition, compared with personnel at colleges in the early stages of planning and implementing predictive analytics tools, personnel at colleges that had been actively using the tools for some time reported more concerns. While the use of predictive analytics holds substantial promise in helping to target student services, the results of the study suggest that a greater examination of concerns about validity, interpretation, and ethics is warranted.