Big Data: Impact on the Education Sector

Running any large entity, including an educational institution like a college, is a process that churns massive volumes of data concerning student details, exams, course evaluations, expenditure, staff details, among others. This data, usually too large for standard data processors, is useful when analyzed for better strategic decisions in a company. Big data refers to the mechanisms applied to extract useful information from such colossal amounts of data.

Attributes of Big Data

According to analyst’ Doug Laney’s observations, big data has three unique characteristics known as the three V’s:

➢   Volume

Companies acquire data in various ways, including social media pages, business transactions, surveys, and interviews. The size of data in focus determines its worth and plays a significant role in determining whether certain information can be regarded as big data.

➢   Velocity

Velocity refers to how fast the big data is generated from sources like social media pages, mobile gadgets, and business transactions. Handling this data real-time is key to unveiling the potential of the data.

➢   Variety

Big data draws from different types of data, structured and unstructured, and from diverse sources. Apart from databases and spreadsheets, other acceptable forms of data include audios, videos, emails, PDFs, and images.

Importance of Big Data

Companies can make a tremendous improvement in their effectiveness and overall success, depending on how they utilize insight from their big data. Quality analysis of big data can translate into various benefits, including:

Driving Innovation: Big data can provide essential information on gaps in the market, providing a clear avenue for innovative products.

Observing Customer Behaviour: Thanks to big data, companies can acquire knowledge of customer trends and make adjustments to meet their expectations.

Better Marketing Approach: Drawing from existing trends in the market, companies can craft winning marketing plans to drive revenue growth and remain relevant.

Creating a Competitive Edge: Once a company understands the market clearly, it can incorporate strategies to meet client preferences and stay ahead of competitors.

Managing Online Reputation: Big data can reveal popular opinion concerning a company. Based on the nature of reviews, companies can take appropriate measures to address misconceptions and maintain a positive image.

How Big Data Is Making a Difference in Education

Educational institutions have copious amounts of data at their disposal, which makes it easier to single out various attributes of their big data and use the insights to realize gains such as:

1.   Improved Learning Experience

Parents and students are continually looking for the best learning experience, and one way educational institutions can improve the learning process is by making use of big data. Student feedback concerning their lessons and tutors can go a long way to identify areas that need improvement. For example, if a particular professor is the recipient of criticism every year, the institution can approach them and find a way to address the issue for better learning.

2.   Tracking Course Flaws for Improved Curriculums

Developing a perfect curriculum takes years of revisions and improvements when using conventional methods. Creating a perfect curriculum for online education programs is even more challenging as it is still too new. However, with big data, it is possible to identify weak points and make appropriate changes to fix shortcomings. For example, suppose many students perform dismally in a particular topic. In that case, it can mean that the subject matter is not straightforward and prompt a revision of the curriculum for better outcomes in the future.

3.   Identifying Student Career Paths

Given the wide selection of careers available to students, choosing the right career remains a challenging aspect. However, a quick look at the student’s interests, weak and strong points, and performance can shed light on careers that suit them. With big data, it is possible to have comprehensive information concerning a student for a more specific inference on a befitting career.

4.   Curbing Course Drop-Out Numbers

A high rate of drop-out is never a good sign, and every educational institution worth its salt will do everything within its power to ensure a higher course completion rate. Available data on aspects like assignment submissions, attendance, and performance could indicate a specific trend associated with students likely to end their courses prematurely. In this regard, professors can make changes to accommodate the needs of such students to ensure they complete their courses.

5.   Customized Learning for Students

Conventional learning methods tend to favor well-performing students at the expense of students considered to possess average learning abilities. By analyzing data on a particular student’s progress, institutions can create favorable plans to ensure less talented students get the best out of their course and receive an all-round grade.

6.   Informed Decision Making

Learning institutions are continually evaluating various aspects concerning their students, especially in areas like faculty enrollment and performance. In the past, institutions made their decisions based on observations. With the rise of eLearning, such an approach is not effective enough. However, big data’s accuracy and reliability is an unmatched tool for better, informed decisions and implementations.

7.   Identifying and Nurturing Sport Talent

Apart from providing education, learning institutions are a renowned breeding ground for sports talent. A good number of the most outstanding basketball, football, and athletic stars established their sporting prowess in school. Using data to establish rising talent pays back in increased enrollment and better donor funding as everyone wants to connect with the best.

8.   Marketing Courses and Services to Prospective Students

Thanks to big data, educational institutions have an idea of essential factors like the location of their applicants and their background. With these in mind, marketing teams can craft plans targeting potential students in those areas for higher enrolment rates. Providers of services where you pay for an essay can reach a vast number of students who might require their help, based on insight from data on popular student searches.

9.   Improved Student Satisfaction

The increase in educational institutions has created a highly competitive environment. Unsatisfied students will quickly move to a school that can guarantee value for money. Some tools, like student cards, can offer a great deal of valuable information. You can establish the most frequented facilities and the least favorite places. With this insight, it is possible to make appropriate changes to bring a balance and ensure students are content with the provided services.


Technology is dynamic and a major player in the education sector. These benefits occasioned by the adaptation of big data in learning institutions are just the tip of the ice-berg. As the tech world makes innovations, there is no limit to the immense possibilities for the exploration and betterment of education.

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