University Of Tasmania

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Data mining: will first-year results predict the likelihood of completing subsequent units in accounting programs?

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 07:34 authored by Seedwell SitholeSeedwell Sithole, Ran, G, Paul De Lange, Tharapos, M, O'Connell, B, Beatson, N
This study introduces data mining methods to accounting education scholarship to explore the relationship between accounting students' current academic performance (grades), demographic information, pre-university entrance scores and predicted academic performance. It adopts a C4.5 classification algorithm based on decision-tree analysis to examine 640 accounting students enrolled in an undergraduate accounting program at an Australian university. A significant contribution of this study is improved prediction of academic performance and identification of characteristics of students deemed to be at risk. By partitioning students into sub-groups based on tertiary entrance scores and employing clustering of study units, this study facilitates a more nuanced understanding of predictor attributes. Key findings were the dominance of a cluster of second year units in predicting students' later academic performance; that gender did not influence performance; and that performance in first year at university, rather than secondary school grades, was the most important predictor of subsequent academic performance.


Publication title

Accounting Education






College Office - College of Business and Economics



Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services