3 Ways Big Data is Transforming Higher Education


Big Data has become a popular buzzword in recent years, but what does it really mean? Companies collect an extraordinary amount of data every day, and they use that data to better understand their customers and how to serve them. Higher education is no different, and colleges and universities are finding increasingly innovative ways to use Big Data to improve the student experience and boost their bottom line. Here are 3 ways Big Data is transforming higher education today...


Big Data Improves Student Experience and Result


The fundamental idea behind leveraging big data throughout the educational experience is to improve the student results. Currently, the primary way student performance is measured is through their responses to exams and assignments. However, the emphasis on these results exclusively, fail to maximise the opportunities with the unique data trail students generate throughout their student journey.


Analysing the student data trail in real-time helps develop a more accurate understanding of the individual behaviours and empowers Universities to optimise the learning experience accordingly.

For example, big data can help monitor and evaluate student actions beyond exams and assignments, such as the sources they use for exam preparation, the questions they skip, or how long they take to answer questions. An integrated big data report analysing these types of questions support more relevant and efficient feedback for students, ultimately enhancing the student experience and improving their results.


Big Data Enables Better Curriculum Design


A key challenge for universities is understanding evolving industry demands and efficiently developing a curriculum meeting those requirements. Big Data analytics can be used to identify emerging employment and market trends and to deliver introductory courses and fundamental learning principles around trending ideas in the business world.

Institutions can use data analytics to determine which classes are most useful for students and which do little to help them achieve their goals. With that information, universities can create more effective curriculum models and develop new ways for students to improve their skills with low-risk online courses.

There’s nothing revolutionary in combining eLearning with big data; however, many institutions lag when it comes to using these methods effectively. The power of these tools isn’t necessarily in their novelty but in how effectively they’re implemented. If applied thoughtfully and strategically, there’s no reason why higher education can’t become more efficient than ever before—and save money in operational and tuition costs by improving student retention rates and increasing employability.


Big Data Encourages Innovation in Teaching Methodology

In a classroom filled with dozens or hundreds of students, it’s impossible for a teacher to manage and monitor every student’s progress. While previously, teachers needed to rely on their gut instinct when determining how well they were teaching their lessons. Now they can use data gathered by Big Data solutions to determine what methodologies are working and what aren’t. This allows them to optimize their classrooms, maximize their teaching effectiveness, and personalise the learning experience.


Big data empowers universities to develop courses that are interesting for students with varied levels of knowledge.

Using data analytics to understand where each student is excelling, or struggling, can allow institutions to offer different introductory material for each student within the same course. This improves student interest in the subject and helps identify how and when specific learning content should be delivered.