If you read any higher education blogs or news sites, you can’t get far without running into a story about the promise of analytics and big data. At Open SUNY, we are in the process of hiring an impact analyst to help us develop, measure, and analyze appropriate metrics. Data is clearly the “Next Big Thing,” but how we do get beyond the concept of data to the point where we are productively using the information available to us to better serve students?
One University that seems to be on their way to exploiting the potential of data is the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), a public online campus serving around 85,000 students around the world (UMUC has a close affiliation with the US Armed Forces, and many of its students are soldiers or their dependents). UMUC’s Beth Mulherrin and Thomas Porch recently presented at the UPCEA Summit for Online Leadership about what their campus is doing to use data to improve their student retention policies.