As seen in Educause Top 10 IT Issues and Strategic Technologies for 2017 report, IT staff at colleges and universities are awash with more data, and the need for data-driven decision making, than ever before. From online learning platforms and digital signage to student ID cards and recruiting systems, data is flooding across campuses like a wave of eager new students at freshman orientation — full of promise and opportunity. Unfortunately, few institutions are taking full advantage of this rich resource; they could be tapping into that data flow and using it to drive valuable insights and actions.

Unleashing Opportunity from Your Data

Schools have struggled with these issues for years, and as the challenge intensifies, improving data and analytics capabilities is becoming even more daunting. At the same time, colleges and universities face outside demands for public accountability that is driving the collection and analysis of data. In short, the pressure to find solutions is mounting.

As the demand for analytics increases, higher education modernizations must go from crawling to sprinting in a short time. Some 86 percent of survey respondents think connected campuses are in the cards for higher education institutions. New best practices from higher education institutions and the private sector, coupled with outgoing technology innovation, are enabling colleges to overcome data silos and the drawn-out and cost-prohibitive solutions of the past. These new strategies enable higher education to create a successful road map for analytics maturity.

Empowering Administrators

Advances in analytics enable deeper, more impactful insights, such as spotting student behaviors that predict academic struggles and dropouts. Advanced institutions are extending performance analyses based on curriculum and faculty professional development.

Administrators and faculty can capitalize on electronic dashboards to analyze information for decision-making and reporting. Similar dashboards also offer the public greater transparency into institutional operations.

Shoring up IT Infrastructure

Data-driven decision making also applies to the critical areas of investment in security, data analytics, network infrastructure and overall alignment with IT to reign in and utilize disparate information with all of the “shadow it” deployments. Yet a full half of respondents said they think their campus will be unable to support emerging technologies in the next two years. Furthermore, the study found that multi-stakeholder engagement is an acknowledged need for connected campus initiatives by nine out of 10 respondents.

CenturyLink Solutions for Educational Institutions

CenturyLink is uniquely positioned to help institutions with their data challenges and build connections along the way Our comprehensive portfolio of Big Data & Advanced Analytics Solutions address higher education’s data imperatives from integration and governance to developing and implementing analytics and IoT use cases, visualization and predictive capabilities, ensuring your institution can feel confident continuing on its connected campus path.

CenturyLink experts can walk you through the process of digitally transforming your institution in ways that make information available to stakeholders without tying up the resources of IT departments and data scientists. Additionally, CenturyLink Hosting and Cloud can enable colleges to layer modern capabilities on top of legacy IT systems, speeding implementations and avoiding costly rip-and-replace overhauls. There’s never been a more promising time for the future of educational institutions. Contact CenturyLink today!

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