The Data-Informed Institution

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Content elements: › How education is using data for digital transformation › The mission and business value of data › Data, adaptability, and agility › Agility for data - 6 steps › How can we use data to bring adaptability to our institution? › In closing › About the author Today's education environment Like other industries, higher education is in flux, driven by rapid changes in demographics, technology, student needs and preferences, budget pressures … and a pandemic. And as with many industries across the public and private sectors, responding to these pressures will require adaptation through better use of technology and data. In the United States, the decline in enrollment that began before the pandemic has worsened, with enrollments falling 3.2% from 2020 to 2021, and a startling 14.1% for community colleges 1 . This, in turn, has led to staff reductions of 650,000 jobs between March 2020 and February 2021—a 13% workforce reduction 2 . Attrition is likely to continue, particularly among technologists, with 40% of IT staff saying they are somewhat or very likely to seek other employment opportunities in the next twelve months—just at a moment when technology is becoming critical to delivering educational outcomes 3 . In the UK, thirteen universities were at risk of bankruptcy in 2020, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. In Australia, universities may have lost up to $4.8 billion in revenue by the end of that year, with international student visa holders in Australia declining by 54% 4 . Higher education institutions in these countries will be challenged to reverse these declines with fewer resources. Responding to both mission and financial imperatives, higher education faces pressures to improve student outcomes and increase retention. Colleges and universities are making a concerted effort to increase diversity, provide access to education to a broader population, and address inequities worsened by the pandemic. Given all these trends, higher education providers find that they need to think differently about supporting students through their educational journeys, personalizing the learning experience, assessing risk, offering more flexibility in learning modality, improving the campus experience and providing online support, and attending to mental health. They also need to respond to the budget pressures of uncertain enrollments and rising costs by maximizing their financial resources through diversifying revenue streams, increasing fundraising, and striving for operational excellence—delivering student outcomes in the most streamlined, effective manner. And, of course, they need to make learning available through online and hybrid channels, as well as in person. 1. 2. 3. for-remote-work 4. AWS report, Emerging Trends in the New World of Education (2020), covid-19-to-cost-universities-16-billion-by-2023/ 1

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