Is big data making the grade in education?

big data Big data analytics is now being widely adopted across many industries. The education sector is one of the industries that generate massive volumes of data, and therefore, it can benefit greatly from big data technology. Here is a look at the role of big data in education….

Big data adoption in the education eector

According to a recent Dell-sponsored study, about 79 percent of colleges and universities have been experiencing significant data growth and 59 percent said that they consider big data analytics a priority. However, most institutions are not making changes to their daily lessons to accommodate big data, but they are aware of the great potential of this technology in terms of data management and analysis. Many educators have begun to use specialized data software to organize and analyze student data, so that they can assess student performance more accurate. Some institutions are also using big data analytics to improve enrollment and help students make better decisions.

Attract more students

By analyzing the demographics and performance data of their current and former students, colleges and universities can develop profiles of prospective students who are more likely to enroll. Then, they can use social media data to find out their sentiment scores and identify friends of existing and prospective students who may be interested in enrolling.

Help students choose majors

Big data analytics can also help institutions recommend suitable curriculums and majors to students. This can be done by comparing first-year students’ aptitude tests and high school grades with former student profiles that are created based on high school performance and areas of interest. The profiles are then compared with profiles on courses, majors and future work skill requirements to find a good match.

Monitor student performance

With a big data system, colleges and universities can monitor their students’ progress by comparing their ongoing test performance with previous test results and other students’ test performance. They can also learn more about their students’ personalities and behaviors by reading notes from their teachers and analyzing social media data. Evaluating teacher performance Institutions can also measure and improve teacher performance by comparing their teachers’ effectiveness with that of other similar teachers. By taking into consideration factors such as subject matter, student demographics and student aspirations, they will be able to match teachers with the right classes. Big data challenges facing institutions While big data can be very useful to colleges and universities, it is not easy to implement. In order to use big data analytics effectively, institutions need to have extensive knowledge of big data. As the following article shows, big data skills are in short supply, and many institutions are “combating big data skills concerns” by offering competitive salaries and benefits to big data experts. Another challenge that is commonly faced by colleges and universities that are adopting big data is privacy. When they try to access certain information, there is a chance that they will compromise some people’s privacy. However, this problem may be solved in the near future as big data technology continues to advance. Big data analytics can help colleges and universities gain greater value from their data and make the right decisions to provide a better learning experience. Institutions that wish to stay competitive should hop on the big data bandwagon as soon as possible.   About the Author:   John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to education.