"Regardless of how you define it, big data is transforming the way colleges and universities are being managed—and this trend is just in its infancy. Improving student success, identifying new sources of public support, increasing alumni giving, and reducing energy consumption are but a few of the opportunities waiting to be uncovered by data.
As you proceed, a word of caution: Don't try using data as a weapon in organizational conflict, Carleton's Rogers warns. 'This should be a collaborative effort where we're all working to get information because we care about the results,' he says. 'We have to create an environment where everyone is open to honest introspection and evaluation. The data might be positive—or not—but it's not personal. It's intended to help the institution.'"