Riding the Wave of Big Data

i-graduate, United Kingdom

Jacqueline CHENG
Pearson, United Kingdom


Never before have educational institutions and individual academics had access to so much data about their institutional performance and those of the students within it (Feng & Heffernan, 2006). The flood of data gives instant feedback on financial performance, student perceptions, marketing conversion rates and academic performance (Siemens & Long, 2011). Yet has all this data made institutions any smarter in making the crucial strategic decisions to ensure long-term sustainability and success? This roundtable offers an opportunity for participants to talk about the value of data available to the modern institution and how the 'smart' institution is effectively harnessing that data to inform practical decisions. Some of the key themes that are emerging in this area will be highlighted including 'the democratisation of data', 'making use of data' and 'integrating multiple data sources effectively'. The question will be also raised of whether all this data makes education more efficient and effective by identifying the individual needs of students and staff alike and raise standards for all. Leading the discussion will be two leading organisations who will demonstrate how they are helping institutions use a range of data sources to improve their teaching and other student services. To stimulate discussion and debate, a wide variety of research projects will be shown, ranging from feedback from students on the student experience to the analysis of graduate destinations.

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