While work with “big data” is still in its infancy, higher education is becoming more sophisticated in using data analytics both to help students succeed academically and to help the institution make better strategic decisions and improve its operations. In an era when most colleges and universities need every advantage they can muster, leveraging “big data” and the insights it offers may give an institution and its students a competitive edge.
Improving Students’ Success:
Researchers at Purdue University developed Course Signals, a software program that combines student data in ways that enable instructors to monitor student performance and predict students’ success in a course—and, when necessary, step in to help students improve their performance. Early intervention helps retain students in courses and can boost their performance by as much as a full letter grade, researchers there have found.
Improving Institutional Operations:
Miami University of Ohio is developing a business intelligence initiative that supports its recent adoption of responsibility-centered management. Focused largely on budgeting questions, the work includes models that help the university better understand sources of revenue by division and department, as well as trends in student enrollment and retention.
Read the full article for more examples of on-campus examples of data analytics in action as well as a cautions and guidelines for ensure data privacy and security.