Document Type

Unpublished Paper

Publication Date

Fall 2018


In this age of an ever-increasing list of analytics vendors and endlessly forwarded news articles that trumpet the promises of big data in higher education, it can be easy to become distracted by data science and miss out on another opportuni­ty—supporting increased professionalism amongst university staff, faculty, and administrators. Indeed, like many technologies before it, analytics provides us with an opportunity to catalyze institutional effectiveness, but only when we resist the tenden­cy to believe that technology can replace the need for human ingenuity and judgment. This report will argue that such threats to pro­fessional flourishing can be insulated against if administrators in higher education are willing to imbue analytics initiatives with a focus on increased data literacy, professional autonomy, and human collaboration. Our initial successes with focusing on the human element in analytics will be explored, accompanied by evidence supporting this approach.



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