The Importance of Analytics and Data in Higher Education

For universities and business schools, access to data and analytics allows for peer and internal evaluation.   

Familiarizing with analytics provides a set of powerful tools to inform and support learners. They enable institutions to better understand and predict personal needs and performance.

In addition to this, your competitor’s data can be used to gauge what their strengths and weaknesses are. The same results can be leveraged to build on your own strategies and effectively benefit from an understanding of where the gaps lay in higher education.

Improve Branding

Metrics and data can be used to approach branding in a strategic and more empirical fashion. League tables and rankings can be used to impact upon the overall brand and therefore data can be used to feed into policies and decisions. Data acquired in relation to an institution’s league or ranking position can heighten their reputation and improve brand stability. In fact, 77 percent of students in the UK and Australia listed both university rankings and subject rankings as ‘very important’, so the importance of access to ranking datasets is even more resounding.

Student Retention

In recent years, data has been leveraged to directly improve the academic performance of students who are struggling, in order to reduce the risk of drop out rates rising. JISC’s learning analytics systems compare data on individual learners with current and historical data to identify which students may require help. Research has shown that the system is relatively reliable – correctly predicting an average of three out of fourth students not progressing to the next academic year. Innovative digital techniques like this are being used by universities more and more frequently and represent how predictive models could continue to be advantageous and become more reliable with time.

Save Investing in Operations

Data analytics can be used in replace of extensive operations – in turn saving investment, time and retaining resources. Succinct analytics is a lot less time consuming than alternative research methods. Consider how much easier being presented with detailed datasets with all necessary information, on both your own institution and competitors, would be as opposed to conducting your own surveys, focus groups, interviews or observational research.

Building on all of this is the move to authentic assessment, whereby stakeholders can utilize data and analytics available to them, in order to assess their institution in detail and find room for improvements.

QS offers a unique set of data and analytics. Rankings tracker provides access to your institution’s, and competitor’s, data behind the rankings, including faculty staff, student data, research metrics and reputation analysis.

QS Rankings Tracker

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