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Analytics and Big Data


Universities Working to Make Library Metadata Searchable on the Web

With a $4 million Mellon grant, Stanford Libraries is leading the shift to a "linked data" metadata environment.

Bill Offers Alternative Approach to Student Data Collection

An organization that has blocked efforts to allow the federal collection of student outcomes data on the basis of protecting student privacy rights has come out in support of an alternative approach being kicked around in Congress. The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities issued a statement recently in support of legislation that would bypass the idea of a central federal database but still enable the generation of insights about how students fare after graduation.

Study: It's Time to Regulate Brokers Specializing in Student Data

Information about students has become fair game for data brokers, which don't adhere to any protective measures currently in place, according to a new study by Fordham University's Center on Law and Information Policy. As "Transparency and the Marketplace for Student Data" reported, lists of student information are widely available for purchase "on the basis of ethnicity, affluence, religion, lifestyle, awkwardness and even a perceived or predicted need for family planning services." Those who trade in student information are governed under no federal privacy law.

What GDPR Means for U.S. Higher Education

With the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation looming, colleges and universities in the United States are working out how to achieve compliance.

1 in 10 Students Who Leave College Before Graduation Already Have 90% or More of Their Credits for a Degree

One out of every 10 students who fail to graduate from their college or university have already completed 90 percent or more of the credits they need for a degree, according to a new analysis from Civitas Learning. And nearly one in five students who do not graduate have completed 75 percent or more of their credits. The student success company analyzed data from 53 institutions (30 community colleges and 23 four-year universities), totaling more than 300,000 students, to better understand "near-completer" students and how institutions can target their support services to improve graduation rates.

When Learning Analytics Violate Student Privacy

The rise of analytics in higher education raises questions about the responsible use of student data. Here are some of the issues and how institutions are dealing with them.

Unizin Building Data Platform on the Google Cloud

Unizin, the consortium of 25 colleges and universities focused on improving teaching and learning with technology, is turning to the Google Cloud as the foundation for an "interoperable, standards-driven ecosystem for teaching and learning data." The Unizin Data Platform will allow member universities to securely store, integrate and analyze student data and leverage those insights to improve student outcomes.

Analytics Work on Campus Still a Mixed Bag

Two-year institutions consider learning analytics more important than institutional analytics (those that improve operational efficiency), while four-year institutions believe the opposite. In a survey of 200 college and university leaders, 52 percent of two-year leaders favored learning analytics over institutional analytics, while just 35 percent of four-year schools did the same. The survey was sponsored by Ellucian, a major technology company serving higher education, and managed by Ovum, which contacted survey participants by phone. Respondents included presidents, provosts, chief financial officers and CIOs or CTOs.

MIT Hackathon Applies Data Science to Public Policy Challenges

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently held the M.I.T. Policy Hackathon, an event that brought together data science, engineering and policy students to come up with solutions to real problems brought by the event's organizers. Participants were given access to datasets from government, education and nonprofit institutes and asked to tackle problems in fields such as transportation, the future of work, cybersecurity, energy and climate and health.

U Michigan Researchers Turn to Data Science to Understand Music

Four research teams at the University of Michigan will explore the intersection of music and data science thanks to the support of the Michigan Institute for Data Science's Data Science for Music Challenge Initiative. The challenge asked participants to propose research projects that applied data science tools such as data mining or machine learning to the study of areas such as music theory, the connection between music and words, performance and more.