Can Data Analytics Save Higher Education? 

Yes, say leaders from the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), EDUCAUSE and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) in their report released in August.

The belief is that beneficial data analytics necessitates a cross-institutional approach between higher education technology, research, and business.  While it will take these three areas to work together, faculty and advisors must also be part of this process. No matter how much an institution invests in data analytics, faculty and advisors need to understand and know how to use it to improve student success.

Higher education is in the midst of a data analytics revolution, with new data platforms providing deeper institutional insights, and more stakeholders – including governing boards – demanding more and better data. Even so, the American College President Survey suggests that current presidents do not view data as a priority.

The AGB Institute for Leadership and Governance in Higher Education recognizes this hurdle and is focused on preparing leaders to engage in systems approaches to institutional change. Overcoming the challenge of bringing disparate teams together to collect and analyze data presents significant opportunities to remove entrenched silos in favor of cross-pollinated teams.

Learning how institutions are reorganizing their institutional data infrastructure to improve student success and institutional efficiency is a leadership imperative. At the Institute, we consider data a core component of our work in preparing leaders, including how to use data to understand the changing environment that we are in, and how predictive analytics are increasingly part of the higher education enterprise.

For more on integrating faculty and advisors into institutional data teams, see my self-paced course to help them understand the role of data analytics in student success.

By Dr. Jason Lane, Interim Dean, School of Education, University at Albany (SUNY); Faculty, AGB Institute for Leadership & Governance.

Posted on 10.03.2019