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Academic Analytics: A New Tool for a New Era

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EDUCAUSE Review Volume 42, Number 4, ISSN 1527-6619


In responding to internal and external pressures for accountability in higher education, especially in the areas of improved learning outcomes and student success, IT leaders may soon become critical partners with academic and student affairs. IT can help answer this call for accountability through "academic analytics," which is emerging as a new tool for a new era. Analytics marries large data sets, statistical techniques, and predictive modeling. It could be thought of as the practice of mining institutional data to produce actionable "intelligence." Today, analytics is most often used in higher education for administrative decisions--from delivering the targeted number and quality of a freshman class to cultivating likely donors. However, the use of analytics will likely grow in high-stakes areas such as academic success. Whether the catalyst for adoption is a call for accountability from outside of higher education or the need for scorecards or decision-making models from within, analytics is in higher education's future. To prepare, IT and institutional leaders need to begin to understand analytics--as well as the changes that may be required in data standards, tools, processes, organizations, policies, and institutional culture. For institutions to be successful in academic analytics projects, IT leaders must build a coalition of people. (Contains 21 notes.)


Campbell, J.P., DeBlois, P.B. & Oblinger, D.G. (2007). Academic Analytics: A New Tool for a New Era. EDUCAUSE Review, 42(4), 40-42. Retrieved February 26, 2020 from .

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