To further our efforts to help campuses better leverage analytics, NACUBO recently conducted a survey that asked our members about the extent analytics is being used to inform decisions on campuses, and the barriers that have limited the use of analytics. The 2019 NACUBO Study of Analytics, now available online, includes insights from 334 member institutions.
Respondents said the two functional areas where analytics are, on average, informing decisions “to a considerable degree” are enrollment and admissions. They said analytics is also informing decisions, although to a lesser extent on average, related to student progress, financial performance, and student outcomes.
Still, most business officers said that institutions could be leveraging analytics to a greater extent. More than 90 percent of participants indicated that greater importance should be placed on using analytics in areas including operational efficiencies, cost of instruction, internal academic program assessment, and faculty workload planning.
Most participants cited cultural and capacity barriers as challenges to the integration and use of analytics. Nearly 80 percent of participants cited “contributing” or “pressing” barriers including end users not being able to translate analytics into actionable information, a lack of workforce capacity, and stakeholders who say they are “too busy” or see analytics as being additive to their roles.
One of NACUBO’s strategic priorities is to lead higher education’s integration of analytics to achieve institutional strategic goals. NACUBO is working on efforts to support business officers in addressing the cultural and capacity barriers they will need to overcome in order to achieve this goal and will continue to offer resources and support to members.