Are institutional analytics more important than learning analytics?

Survey shows institutional analytics may be more needed than learning analytics

Higher-ed leaders are increasingly focused on institutional analytics, despite challenges associated with implementing enterprise-wide programs, according to an Ellucian survey of 200 college presidents, provosts, CFOs, CTOs, and CIOs.

Fifty-eight percent of surveyed leaders say institutional analytics that improve operational efficiency are of greater priority than learning analytics that will improve student outcomes, according to What Will It Take to Build an Analytics-Driven Campus?

Analytics priorities seem to differ by role, with presidents, CFOs, and CIOs focusing on improved learning outcomes; provosts are focused on improved retention and completion; and CTOs are concerned with improved operational efficiency.

Sixty-one percent say their institution has an analytics program, but not all programs are campus-wide. Just 1 percent say their institution does not have an analytics program and is not considering one.

Of institutions with an analytics program, 59 percent have enterprise programs instead of departmental programs. Four-year institutions are more likely to have an enterprise analytics program compared to two-year institutions (63 percent vs. 53 percent).

Implementation costs are cited as a top barrier to adopting an analytics program (83 percent), followed by the potential that the return on investment is insufficiently clear to prompt significant investment (61 percent).

Forty-eight percent of surveyed higher-ed leaders also cite a lack of willingness to share data across departments or colleges. Forty-four percent say that unwillingness is due to staff fearing a loss of power or influence.

Results are split fairly evenly over funding, with half of surveyed leaders saying they believe their institution is investing the right amount in an analytics program, and half saying their institution is not investing enough. One in five leaders plan to at least double their analytics budget in the next 10 months.

In general, CIOs and CTOs are the final decision makers for analytics program strategies, while presidents and CFOs are the final decision-makers for analytics investments.

IT departments tends to advocate for analytics programs, with 42 percent championing such initiatives. Sixty-seven percent of IT department employees are dedicated solely to enterprise analytics.

Laura Ascione

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