- Data analytics has the power to solve crimes and keep students from dropping out, but institutions must be wary of the privacy implications.
- Some say colleges and universities have the responsibility to monitor student activity and track outcomes to provide the support that students need to succeed.
- While there are privacy concerns to data collection, the use of analytics at many institutions simply means utilizing data they already have, and the key is making sure that analytics do not become prescriptive, giving institutions the green light to make assumptions about student outcomes based on behavior.
As state and federal officials continue to brainstorm ways to hold colleges and universities accountable based on student outcomes, data analytics provides a way for these institutions to facilitate success. In the past, enrolling students was enough to get state dollars. Now, for at least a portion of that money, about half of all states require positive outcomes. Because campuses are already heavily digitized, information about students’ academic and social activities is already being collected. The next step for many institutions is to integrate multiple tracking systems and start finding patterns.