No More Secret Sauce Analytics

12 Jul

“Analytics, yes. But no more secret sauce analytics.”

Hapgood

I’ve gotten two calls from reporters in the past week asking me about the “dangers of analytics” in higher education.

I’m always quite careful to say I think there’s a lot of promise for analytics in higher education. I can’t imagine a future where we’re not using analytics extensively to try and improve what we do. And I have no doubt those analytics will guide us on where to apply resources in some high stakes areas — how we spend advising time, where we apply remediation strategies, which students we select for special attention, what gateway courses we should fund.

But it’s precisely the power and potential of analytics that makes it so important we get this right. And what getting this right means, first and foremost, is we do it in the open, and avoid the “secret sauce” mindset we’ve tended to have about such things.

The anti-analytics crowd…

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