Key Benefits Of Using Big Data Analytics In Higher Education

In higher education, Big Data Analytics can be the forerunner of transformation as against the earlier approach of using analytics to just determining individual and class performance.

As the name suggests, Big Data refers to the large volume of data (structured, semi-structured and unstructured) that deluges a business every day. But what the firms do with that data is important and not the quantity of data. There are various ways in which firms collect data about their customers, either they ask for it directly, track them indirectly or acquire it from other companies. In most cases, companies usually early on their relationship with the customers, seek data directly from them.

In higher education, Big Data Analytics can be the forerunner of transformation as against the earlier approach of using analytics to just determining individual and class performance.

It can exploit the sea of data available to shape the future of higher education.

The biggest way Big Data aids higher education is by comprising the meaningful interpretation of vast data created across administrative, individual learning and operational parameters across institutions, society, country and the world to calculate the future performance and challenges across academics, research, teaching, learning, outcomes and growth.

Here are other key advantages of using Big Data in higher education:

1. Since learners and students have highly individual and personal learning paths, Big Data analytics can unlock how they consume content that they retain and determine the learning paths of each student. This is the building block of shaping the learning journey of each learner in higher education to make it more inclusive and personal. Today, the quantity of data availability by humans has surpassed 2.5 quintillion bytes per day while over 1.7MB of data is created every second per human. Therefore, the likelihood of mining this to build the future of higher education by discovering meaningful insights is absolutely wonderful.

2. Big Data will enable a better understanding of future trends and therefore help in reshaping of academic programming to drive learning that is future centric.

3. Institutional, societal and national analytics when construed together could affect policy and lead to new changes in government policies around courses. For example, with or without big data analytics is the new National Education Policy by the Government of India. When public policy gets shaped by data and analytics, its impact is much higher.

4. Big Data analytics will drive research and teaching at institutions of higher learning. It will lead to a better understanding of current and future trends that will enable academic research and learning at the institutions. The change will be easily visible in the research quality and the output in terms of learning methods adopted by institutions and their professors.

5. Big Data will also lead to advancement in resource allocation for institutions.

6. For students, it implies that everything from a personalized learning path to proactive feedback and eventually outcomes for each learner being customized based on their individual needs and behavior. Therefore, Big Data helps in delivering the real solution to improving the employability of our learners.

7. Lastly, it will help educational institutions in the higher education space save costs, deliver better learning outcomes, assess learning quality and also be able to enhance their own reputation and affinity amongst the learners. For the teachers too, being able to predict and thereby take corrective actions for each learner will lead to improved promoter score and enhanced outcomes that don’t just help the learner but help them too.

Therefore from sentiments, social engagements, personal goals and personalized learning paths for each individual to shaping public policy around higher education, Big Data can play a crucial role and should be looked at not just keenly but also with a sense of urgency. Big Data will lead to a scenario where the behaviour of the learner across various mediums and channels as well his or her submissions and data creation across academic channels will be tracked and analysed. It would lead to greater insights about his or her learning needs, interests, abilities, and understanding and hence predict a personal learning path and content as well as the means of delivering the content and learning. Imagine each learner learning in the manner that he or she understands and learning exactly what will help him/her to get ahead in life. The possibilities for the individual as well as for the teacher, institution, society, the country and for the world are endless with Big Data.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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