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Empowering Education in the Age of Big Data

Published on 29 September 16
Can you imagine a scenario of hundreds of students in classroom with just one teacher? It surely becomes a tough task for the teacher to monitor activities of each and every student. One has to be on their toes all around to monitor such a big class. Often they face difficulty in identifying which student requires extra attention and help or which student is failing to meet the expectations.

Fortunately there is a data based approach easing out assessment of each student, understanding their accomplishments and weaknesses. This way on the basis of student’s individual interests, earlier knowledge, and taking into consideration level of academic ability, more of a personalized learning is delivered. Besides, Big Data is helpful for the teachers in assessing efficacy of various learning tools so that they can develop ‘smart’, interactive learning material making education more of a pleasant experience.
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Big Data to play a huge role in higher education

Big Data made big noise in higher education in 2015 with college and universities, being flooded with data from legacy systems and incentivized by transformed accountability pressures, started linking contrasting information from all around the campus. Now even though it has all the hype but still it leaves one wondering over various aspects.

So here let’s discuss how Big Data will turn out to be in time to come and how implementing the new policies and practices will define higher education in the digital era.

All the more useful

It’s the time when colleges and universities are following the lead of early pioneers and have started linking risk indicators to interventions working at scale. This technology is having a big impact on operations and staffing by including words such as predictive analytics in job titles. Thus it is highly significant time for Big Data in higher education. We have the new cadre of higher education technology leaders, transcending the IT department so it focuses on issues such as retention, affordability and content delivery while coursing via new modalities. There are institutions that have begun with the same already. In the previous times we saw a few institutions coupling data analytics with college advising elimination of gap in graduation rates between low-income and minority students and remaining of its student body. This way it also raised their graduation rate by 22 points.

To draw attention of policymakers

The impact of Big Data is going to be huge as it will be offering policymakers with exceptional transparency that informs enduring debates regarding the value, equity and affordability of higher education. Instead of just participates rates, Congress has always stressed on Pell completion. However, compilation of the data needed an intricate, manual process crafted by the U.S. Department of Education. However now as there is no need to integrate legacy enrollment management and student information systems, we have begun to understand completion rates for low income students – this will be a huge thing in policymaking.

By the next year we see the biggies take the big step and the institutional leaders may use big data to encourage public investment. Meanwhile more of granular outcome data allows legislators to reward universities exhibiting success with more and more of diverse student population.

Data Privacy and security concerns to arise

Big Data investment is going to tremendously change higher education as well as it will be consumerizing education technology thus converging to make record data available to students and folks. Students will be empowered to take the right steps taking ownership for their success and that’s certain to alter the results. However this will bring concerns over data security and privacy as a chunk of their information reach to the cloud. This issue can be overcome by having a set of new standards and expectations for data in this era. We are going to see state regulators and auditors clarifying the basic compliance standards for data collection, privacy, management security, and a lot more, and this will bring a big change in education industry.


Scalability is going to be the major focus for 2016. In order to affect outcomes at scale, universities are going to require sidelining competition, embracing collaboration. Technology firms will have struggle with collaboration while partnering with institutional leaders so that they can define the policies for higher education in the digital era. At the same time college and university leaders will be vocalizing concerns regarding data jail and interoperability. Thus business models for tech firms are certain to be evolving. As they share best practices and de-identifies data, it allows institutions tapping into new insights regarding how to assist struggling students. Collaborative with focus on student success are fostering such kind of sharing of best practices.

Thus, it’s clear that Big Data & Analytics market register remarkable growth opportunity in education sector and when it is widely used it will be unlocking the door to a more personalized learning experience that encourages students to study and equips them for life beyond the classroom.
This blog is listed under Data & Information Management Community

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