Watermark Releases Survey of Higher Education Professionals on Connecting Campus Data to Drive Meaningful Improvement

NEW YORK, NY — May 29, 2019 – Watermark, a pioneer in educational intelligence, released findings today from its survey of higher education professionals about their experiences using and sharing campus data to inform decision making and improve student and institutional outcomes. These findings come just as the Association of Institutional Research (AIR) Forum begins — the world’s largest gathering of higher education professionals working in institutional research, assessment, planning, and related postsecondary education fields where the focus is data use for decision making.

The report, “Connecting Campus Data to Drive Meaningful Improvement,” explores issues raised by more than 230 survey respondents, surfacing the challenges higher education professionals experience in managing the number of systems they use on campus, as well as the difficulties in sharing campus data to gain greater insight and inform improvement efforts.

Key findings in the report centered around the quantity of data, collaboration, and the rising importance of educational intelligence.

  • Only 18 percent of respondents indicated they felt there was not enough data available at their institutions.
  • 68 percent of respondents said their institutions would benefit from “better collaboration between departments and stakeholders on campus to use data to address common challenges.”
  • Nearly 51 percent reported that “increased connectivity between different software systems to share data for decision-making” would help improve student outcomes.
  • 90 percent of survey respondents said educational intelligence, defined as “leveraging data at multiple points across the student lifecycle to make intelligent decisions to positively impact student outcomes,” could benefit their work.

“We’re finding there has been a shift. Whereas institutions might have previously suffered from a lack of available data or were struggling to establish a culture of using data to inform improvements, we’re now seeing challenges surface because of the sheer volume of data available. Institutions are struggling to connect their often disparate datasets,” said Lauren O’Brien, Vice President of Marketing for Watermark.

“We’re excited by the promise of educational intelligence to address some of these core issues and committed to increasing the connectivity between solutions and data so that institutions have the kind of insights needed to make evidence-based decisions that improve outcomes across all levels of the institution,” O’Brien said.

This survey was produced in partnership with Education Dive.

Victoria Guzzo
Director of Corporate Communications

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