All of this, of course, is reliant on schools actually making a push toward Big Data programs, Wagner said, and that’s why organizations, companies, and government entities are making a push of their own – that marketing move Harper Reed, the chief technology officer of President Obama’s 2012 campaign, called “bull—” in October.

“I’m not opposed to what companies like IBM are trying to do,” Wagner said.  “They have products that institutions want to buy, and they are all discovering that there is no winner if nobody is sure what to do with these amazing platforms and tools. The reality is that all of us should be more data-literate in post-secondary education, but we can’t just believe all the hype either. Everyone’s trying to figure out this very particular dance.”

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