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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Data Collection to Improve University Efficiency-Cost and Quality?

More universities are using data analytics and information to improve overall efficiency of the university. This is awesome and can be a little concerning at the same time. On one hand data can provide a lot of useful information but on the other hand it can take the focus away from knowledge creation and into a world where if it doesn't fit within a number it doesn't count.

Becoming more efficient means that universities can free up resources. As universities struggle against limited budgets they will need to find efficiencies where they can to save resources for themselves and their students.

They do run into the problem of top heavy administrator staff. There are a lot of universities that have an exorbitant amount of administrators that look more like CEO's than actual academics. Perhaps some of these universities will find out they have too many and starting hiring more full-time faculty.

On one hand, information can create efficiency but on the other side it limits the ability to see learning for what it truly is. When we rely too heavily on metrics we start forgetting what isn't being measured and that can make companies blind.

Metrics are great but human skill and ingenuity is still a valid way of understanding performance. Any feedback system should offer both quantitative and qualitative measurements that give a full picture based on numbers and experience. As schools measure their performance lets hope they measure the right stuff and create value for students.

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