- Though many presidents consider metrics like retention and graduation rates important in making decisions about their institution’s performance, only 12% report they will make the use of data in decision-making a “future area of importance,” according to an American Council on Education survey reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
- There may be a “disconnect” between college presidents and the institutional research offices at their own schools, which can supply administrators with the metrics they value. The report advised data-driven decision-making must be better utilized on campuses.
- Georgia State University uses data to offer “completion grants” to students in danger of dropping out, while the University of North Carolina at Greensboro uses data to making financial aid decisions.
With tech tools being utilized for numerous on-campus advancements, from the elimination of physical campus ID cards to increased security measures, they can also be utilized for easing communication gaps between departments, as well as between administration and faculty and staff. College presidents are increasingly faced with a wide array of operational responsibilities, and making performance metric data easily accessible would be beneficial for a administrators, educators, parents, students and other staff.
A strong IT support staff could help presidents make clearer decisions and have easily accessible data to help them do so. An institution with strong performance metrics would also benefit from having the data easily accessible to cite and market, as research indicates that potential applicants can be attracted to a university on strong performance data, regardless of name recognition. This will require schools to support institutional research analysts to ensure such facts are readily available and easily understood in order to compete with prestigious institutions.