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September 19, 2015: Five Reasons Data Analytics are Essential to the Future of Distance Education

The amount of data in our world has been exploding, and the analysis of large data sets will become a key basis of productivity, innovation, and growth in the near future.[1] From my vantage point at DEAC, I observe how the use of data analytics is trending upward across higher education and receiving an increasing level of attention for its value as a versatile tool to improve student retention and educational success. This is why I invited Dr. Linda Baer to join us for our Fall Workshop in October. Linda is a leading expert on higher education data analytics. She writes in her white paper titled Quality, Accountability, and Action, that

Leadership must identify future trends and needs, lead change agendas, invest in what makes a difference, and remain authentic and courageous.

Dr. Baer’s presentations will expand on this point and offer key insights into the innovative capabilities that data analytics offer the future of education when she and her team present at DEAC’s upcoming Fall Workshop being held October 18 – 20, 2015 in Palm Springs, California. I hope you are planning to attend!

Why are data analytics so important?

The capabilities brought to fruition from data analytics align with DEAC’s strategic vision to pioneer innovation and change in distance education that supports students in achieving their goals. Data analytics provide a big picture to institutional leadership to drive strategic decision making by:

  1. Helping institutions develop early warning systems that identify when students may be getting off track.
  2. Helping to identify the factors contributing to irregular outcomes and helping institutions appropriately address outcomes that do not meet expectations.
  3. Providing accurate information that helps the strategic allocation of resources to support learning.
  4. Identifying patterns in the data that potentially signal an attack by a financial aid fraud ring.
  5. Documenting how much time students spend on certain learning modules or activities and then in turn helping institutions to determine if a course needs to be redesigned.

Do you want to learn more about how data analytics can creatively and effectively to drive efficiency and quality at your institution?

[1] Source: “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity,” McKinsey Global Institute, 2011.

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