With $500,000 Grant, Higher Education Associations Will Help Colleges and Universities Accelerate Analytics Use
The Association for Institutional Research (AIR), EDUCAUSE, and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) have been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help colleges and universities leverage data and analytics to advance student success.
The grant work will focus on supporting historically underserved student populations while identifying ways for institutions to improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness. The project will culminate in a succinct, actionable guide to assist higher education institutions in building data-informed cultures and enhancing capacity for leveraging analytics. A diverse cohort of colleges and universities will be invited to help the associations develop the guide, which will focus on creating an institutional culture that translates data into action.
“Effective analytics capacity development requires collaboration,” said AIR Executive Director and CEO Christine M. Keller. “This project will align our three associations around an issue that is critical to student success. Having institutional researchers, IT professionals, and business officers collaborate on this project will help break down institutional silos that often hamper data use.”
AIR, EDUCAUSE, and NACUBO have a long record of working to help institutions better leverage data. In 2019, the three associations released the Joint Statement on Analytics, a call-to-action for higher education officers to use data with six guiding principles.
“The 2019 Joint Statement sparked great discussions around the use of data and analytics in higher education,“ said EDUCAUSE President and CEO John O’Brien. “However, we also heard from colleges and universities that they need support in building their analytics capacities—they need to know where to start and how to enhance their abilities to make data-informed decisions that support students and propel the institution’s mission.”
To create a comprehensive guide, the initiative will include higher education leaders from institutions at various phases of analytics adoption—from schools that are just beginning to examine data to those routinely leveraging it to support mission-critical decisions.
“Engaging a diverse group of college and university leaders will help ensure that the guide meets institutions where they are,” said NACUBO Interim President and CEO Lynne Schaefer. “This support from the Gates Foundation will allow us to meet our commitment to advance student success at institutions at all levels of analytics maturity.”