How Big Data And Analytics Can Revolutionize Academia?

  • Big data analytics empowers institutions to unearth latent opportunities for growth.

  • Data analytics is a great tool to understand consumer behavior.

  • It is going to be a key differentiator for assessing institutional competitiveness in the future.

  • The domestic analytics market in India is estimated to be $3.03 Bn in size in 2019 and is projected to grow seven times in the next seven years, according to a recent study by Analytics India Magazine (AIM) and Praxis Business School.

With the proliferation of IoT (Internet of things) and digital media technologies, a massive amount of data is being generated constantly.  Data today is the power that helps unravel unimagined possibilities for progress. It’s a digital world, as they say, is all set to boom analytics market in India. And educational institutes are not too far from an early adaptation of this change.

Today big data and data analytics are not just buzzwords but a central tool to every business ecosystem. Due to rising competition in the education sector, Indian institutions are rapidly upgrading themselves. They have been positively responsive to leading a data-driven transformation in their working.  Several of them are now enabling successful data-based decisions to drive enrolments.

But as a whole, many institutes in the country do not really understand the importance of Big Data and Analytics. They don’t have much idea about the possible implications of these techniques in their overall growth.

In this write-up, we will try to understand the potential of big data analytics and how it can bring impactful changes in academic processes.

How Is Big Data Useful for Academic Institutions?

In general, big data is the ability to process information in ways that provide useful insights for business improvement. The Big Data platforms provide tools, methods, and technologies that are helpful to capture and analyze data to find new linkages and trends. It is a powerful tool to gain Business Intelligence.  

 In educational institutes, huge volumes of data points are generated around students. These are both in a structured or unstructured format. Also, through social media properties and college websites, a significant repository of information is produced. Utilizing big data can help colleges and universities gain access to valuable insights for optimizing marketing output and improving academic planning and administration. It can help in better profiling of prospective students, discover new marketing opportunities, predict trends, identify applicants’ needs, etc.

Big Data Analytics can allow colleges to streamline data flow for finding solutions to problems.

Better business intelligence will enable cost reduction, faster decision making and improve efficiency in operations. Analytics can be useful for educational institutes in a host of ways such as admission marketing, students’ performance assessment, identifying patterns, etc.

But how can big data analytics bring real transformation in academia for a better future?

Let’s explore some of the key areas of our education system that can be improved by implementing big data analytics.

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Academic Administration, Governance and Course Design

With big data implementation, Colleges and Universities can measure their performance against the targets set. Analytics can help in ensuring academic rigor, faculty performance, etc.

With data mining techniques educational institutes can develop smart course materials based on an individual student’s aptitude and capacity. Such analytics can get you answers to understanding a learner’s grasping capacity so that you can develop the next teaching module accordingly.

Teaching analytics can help institutions evaluate students’ performance by taking corrective measures indicated by mining data. On the basis of data analytics, you can create a learning system that is need-based, customized and can have predictable outcomes.

Big data can further help in fostering personalized learning. Since data mining tools factor the natural learning ability of an individual, it is therefore personalized to cater to the learning pace of an individual.

Many of the advancements in online learning can be attributed to advanced data science. Big data is helping online learning programs develop more sophisticated learning platforms with intended outcomes. Big data tools are already helping faculty members customize their lesson plans.

Big Data and Analytics is Helping Admission Marketing in a Big Way

Perhaps the most crucial change on account of big data analytics has come into the admission marketing domain. It is helping admission marketers improve conversion rates and justify their marketing budgets.

Big data can provide crucial information sources to create campaigns that can not only generate more engagement with leads but finally drive conversions. It has made it easier to monitor marketing inventories for delivering better outcomes. Data gathered from various digital and offline sources can be mined at one single point.

It is evolving as a distinguishing feature for lots of upcoming and established educational institutions. They can now reach out to more people and offer them the opportunity to engage with their brand.

Final Word

The implementation of big data and analytics in academia can bring new avenues that can help to rethink the ways in which colleges and universities traditionally operate. It can aid in the restructuring of academic processes to suit the requirement of modern learners. So far, the admission process generates large volumes of data. This can be processed in a way to give useful insights for mapping the right intake quality.

This technology if used consistently can show considerable changes in institutional functioning. As more and more institutions will start taking benefits of data analytics, the future will get better. This will indeed result in higher value for academic institutions. But to achieve a huge transformation, the entire education industry has to work closely and share best practices in the fraternity.

Big data is expected to drive radical changes in education. These changes are evident in the ways educational institutions are governed, course quality is managed and student participation and performance are managed. Compared to the education system in the past, the changes represent a radical shift.

Data is at the core of the technological revolution. But raw data is useless. Analytics helps to derive insightful information for generating suitable action from it.  It can help educational institutions to manage course quality effectively, enhance student performance and improve overall functioning.

Without a doubt, big data is set to become the next wave in the education domain and it has the potential to transform educational institutes. However, it goes without saying that the experience and wisdom of teachers and academic leaders will still be needed to give it the right direction and the right push.