Building a Smarter University

Big Data, Innovation, and Analytics

Edited by Jason E. Lane
Foreword by Nancy L. Zimpher

Subjects: Higher Education, Education, Computers, Educational Administration, Public Policy
Series: SUNY series, Critical Issues in Higher Education
Paperback : 9781438454528, 342 pages, October 2014
Hardcover : 9781438454535, 342 pages, October 2014

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword: Building a Smarter University: Big Data, Innovation, and Ingenuity
Nancy L. Zimpher
Part I. Overview
1. Fostering Smarter Colleges and Universities: Data, Big Data, and Analytics
Jason E. Lane and B. Alex Finsel
2. Legal Issues Associated with Big Data in Higher Education: Ethical Considerations and Cautionary Tales
Jeffrey C. Sun
3. Education and… Big Data versus Big-But-Buried Data
Elizabeth L. Bringsjord and Selmer Bringsjord
Part II. Access, Completion, Success
4. Big Data’s Impact on College Admission Practices and Recruitment Strategies
Jay W. Goff and Christopher M. Shaffer
5. Who Is the Big Data Student?
Fred Fonseca and Michael Marcinkowski
6. Nudge Nation: A New Way to Use Data to Prod Students into and through College
Ben Wildavsky
7. Unanticipated Data-Driven Innovation in Higher Education Systems: From Student Success to Course Equivalencies
Taya L. Owens and Daniel J. Knox
Part III. Policy Development and Institutional Decision Making
8. Integrating Data Analytics in Higher Education Organizations: Improving Organizational and Student Success
Lisa Helmin Foss

9. The Opportunities, Challenges, and Strategies Associated with the Use of Operations-Oriented (Big) Data to Support Decision Making within Universities
John Cheslock, Rodney P. Hughes, and Mark Umbricht
10. Measuring the Internationalization of Higher Education: Data, Big Data, and Analytics
Jason E. Lane and Rajika Bhandari
11. Big Data and Human Capital Development and Mobility
Brian T. Prescott

Demonstrates how universities can use Big Data to enhance operations and management, improve the education pipeline, and educate the next generation of data scientists.


The Big Data movement and the renewed focus on data analytics are transforming everything from healthcare delivery systems to the way cities deliver services to residents. Now is the time to examine how this Big Data could help build smarter universities. While much of the cutting-edge research that is being done with Big Data is happening at colleges and universities, higher education has yet to turn the digital mirror on itself to advance the academic enterprise. Institutions can use the huge amounts of data being generated to improve the student learning experience, enhance research initiatives, support effective community outreach, and develop campus infrastructure. This volume focuses on three primary themes related to creating a smarter university: refining the operations and management of higher education institutions, cultivating the education pipeline, and educating the next generation of data scientists. Through an analysis of these issues, the contributors address how universities can foster innovation and ingenuity in the academy. They also provide scholarly and practical insights in order to frame these topics for an international discussion.

Jason E. Lane is Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor at the State University of New York, Deputy Director of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, and Associate Professor of Educational Policy at the University at Albany, State University of New York.