According to Educause, 24% of HEIs have Analytics as a major priority. Even more see it as an important development, and no-one perceives it as becoming less important in the future. This leads to more than 90% of institutions being at least very interested in analytics.

As with most things, money is the key driver to introduce analytics in institutions. The hope is that with better information, costs of e.g. drop-outs etc. can be reduced. At the same time, affordability is seen as the biggest obstacle for analytics. Admittedly, it surprised me that this response in the Educause survey put concerns about privacy and data misuse into second place. In my opinion, this may reflect the managerial thinking of respondents from university management. Be that as it may, collaboration between IT and institutional research are seen as most important for progress, but have to be supported by the leadership.

We have heard about UMBC’s strategic approach and institutional commitment which led to a cultural change in information management of the institution as a whole. The key message from Educause, therefore, is to position analytics as a major institutional investment.

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