Big Data on Campus
Data Analytics and Decision Making in Higher Education
The continuing importance of data analytics is not lost on higher education leaders, who face a multitude of challenges, including increasing operating costs, dwindling state support, limits to tuition increases, and increased competition from the for-profit sector. To navigate these challenges, savvy leaders must leverage data to make sound decisions. In Big Data on Campus, leading data analytics experts and higher ed leaders show the role that analytics can play in the better administration of colleges and universities.
Aimed at senior administrative leaders, practitioners of institutional research, technology professionals, and graduate students in higher education, the book opens with a conceptual discussion of the roles that data analytics can play in higher education administration. Subsequent chapters address recent developments in technology, the rapid accumulation of data assets, organizational maturity in building analytical capabilities, and methodological advancements in developing predictive and prescriptive analytics. Each chapter includes a literature review of the research and application of analytics developments in their respective functional areas, a discussion of industry trends, examples of the application of data analytics in their decision process, and other related issues that readers may wish to consider in their own organizational environment to find opportunities for building robust data analytics capabilities.
Using a series of focused discussions and case studies, Big Data on Campus helps readers understand how analytics can support major organizational functions in higher education, including admission decisions, retention and enrollment management, student life and engagement, academic and career advising, student learning and assessment, and academic program planning. The final section of the book addresses major issues and human factors involved in using analytics to support decision making; the ethical, cultural, and managerial implications of its use; the role of university leaders in promoting analytics in decision making; and the need for a strong campus community to embrace the analytics revolution.
Contributors: Rana Glasgal, J. Michael Gower, Tom Gutman, Brian P. Hinote, Braden J. Hosch, Aditya Johri, Christine M. Keller, Carrie Klein, Jaime Lester, Carrie Hancock Marcinkevage, Gail B. Marsh, Susan M. Menditto, Jillian N. Morn, Valentina Nestor, Cathy O'Bryan, Huzefa Rangwala, Timothy Renick, Charles Tegen, Rachit Thariani, Chris Tompkins, Lindsay K. Wayt, Karen L. Webber, Henry Y. Zheng, Ying Zhou
About the Authors
Karen L. Webber is an associate professor of higher education at the University of Georgia. She is the editor of Building Capacity in Institutional Research and Decision Support in Higher Education and the coeditor of Institutional Research and Planning in Higher Education: Global Trends and Contexts. Henry Y. Zheng is a senior associate vice president for strategic analytics at Ohio State University. He is the former vice provost for institutional research and strategic analytics at Lehigh University.
"The authors do an excellent job of explaining the nuances between data-driven decision making and data-informed decision making, and why the latter is more appropriate in the context of higher education's shared governance process. I've never seen a book like this in our profession. I expect it to be regularly used in graduate programs in higher education administration. It will also serve as an excellent reference for institutional leadership teams planning to undertake major change."
"Presidents, provosts, senior administrators, and trustees will find this volume informative and useful for bringing them up to speed on a rapidly evolving set of tools that will be central to higher education administration going forward."
"Collecting a series of essays that relate to the roles of decision makers and practitioners, this wonderful book is nuanced, original, and complementary of other works in the field. The scholarship and sourcing are exceptionally thoughtful, thorough, and sound."
"Webber and Zheng bring together scholars and practitioners working on the cutting edge of predictive data analytics on college campuses. Together, the chapters offer a comprehensive strategic, operational, and theoretical approach to the challenges and opportunities of data-informed decision-making in higher education. A 'must read' for higher education leaders and scholars."
"Webber and Zheng have done an immense service to higher education, particularly in this age of the coronavirus. Institutions of higher education have rarely faced such great challenges with so little information on how to proceed. This book provides the construct and tools necessary for university leaders to make positive and transformative decisions in a post-pandemic world."
"Colleges and universities are catching up rapidly to other industries in their use of data and analytics. This edited volume by Webber and Zheng reviews the state of the analytics art in key functional areas within higher education, while the editors' own chapters reinforce the need for critical human capabilities in data-driven universities."
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