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In preparation for NACUBO’s first Integrating Analytics Forum in 2018, the Analytics Advisory Group designed the Higher Education Data Analytics Framework to guide the program’s curriculum development. Recognizing that students are our most important constituent group, the group identified culture, capacity, analytical questions, and return on investment as key components of the framework for understanding how analytics informs decisions in higher education.

Higher Education Datea Analytics Framework


Campus leaders, including business officers, must create a culture that values data-informed decisions. This means leadership must create a culture of trust that breaks down siloes so campus community members can collaborate, have access to quality data, and are empowered to act based on data-informed evidence.

Analytics Questions: Hindsight, Insight, Foresight

Data are available on campuses to explore what happened and what might happen—with student retention and completion rates, energy consumption, and much more. The analytical techniques required to answer the myriad questions campus leaders have varies—increasing in difficulty and value as the type of understanding progresses from hindsight to insight to foresight.


Investment in technology and personnel is needed to ensure all campus members not only have access to the right analytics at the right time, but are also able to interpret and act on the information.

Return on Investment

Campus leaders, particularly business officers, must be able to communicate the value of analytics. The ROI could be increased efficiency or cost effectiveness. However this real value may be in the return on mission investment, with institutions realizing gains in student outcomes, research productivity, or other mission-related functions.


Lindsay Wayt

Senior Director, Analytics


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