Strategic Data Use in Higher Education: Using Data to Improve Postsecondary Success

The Strategic Data Project (SDP) at Harvard University interviewed 40 leaders and analysts at 29 institutions of higher education and postsecondary organizations to understand why some colleges and university systems are excelling in using data and others have yet to fully realize the potential of their data to inform strategic decisions that transform student success in school and the workforce.

[Their] key finding is that the missing link is not in the technical infrastructure but in human capacity. If higher education is to take advantage of data analytics to improve student outcomes and increase organizational effectiveness, it will have to find better ways to attract, train, and retain strategic data professionals who can inform policy and practice.


A little piece of youth from my niece

Asked my niece about her favorite band and she showed me Stray Kids. This video brings back memories from the good old middle/high school years. Thanks Tiff & Skz

Lightly let things happen

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly… Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them…throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you…trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly…on tiptoes and no luggage…completely unencumbered.”

Aldous Huxley

This brilliant poem on absurdity

Imaginary Number by Vijay Seshadri

The mountain that remains when the universe is destroyed
is not big and is not small.
Big and small are

comparative categories, and to what
could the mountain that remains when the universe is destroyed
be compared?

Consciousness observes and is appeased.
The soul scrambles across the screes.
The soul,

like the square root of minus 1,
is an impossibility that has its uses.

– By Vijay Seshadri, Pulitzer Prize Winner

Recent study on student clickstream data

The benefits and caveats of using clickstream data to understand student self-regulatory behaviors: opening the black box of learning processes

By automatically recording students’ interactions with online course materials, clickstream data provide a valuable new source of information on student learning behaviors. These data can be used to define and identify behavioral patterns that are related to student learning outcomes, suggest behavioral changes to students for greater success, and provide insights regarding the mechanisms by which education interventions affect student outcomes.

Baker, R., Xu, D., Park, J. et al. The benefits and caveats of using clickstream data to understand student self-regulatory behaviors: opening the black box of learning processes. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 17, 13 (2020).

(I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Baker last week about U.S. education metrics & policy. What a dedicated person and professor.)

Open the window, let it in

One day you’re driving toward the sunset, and you realize…all you have to do is open the window and let it in.

Visual Escapism

“In the series of ‘Visual Escapism, Somewhere in the World’, we have been interested in creating a minimalistic yet vibrant surreal world. Our goal is to create dreamlike spaces that are architectural rendered, which invites viewers to our thoughtful illusion. Through our inspirational spaces and objects, we challenge everyone to blur the boundary between fantasy and reality.” –MUE

Noticing and appreciating

Mathematics, Mystery, and the Universe

Astrophysicist Mario Livio speaks to the heart of mathematics in this episode of On Being.

Together with Krista Tippett, he discusses the idea that mathematics has a reality and truth about it that may even be greater than the reality and truth of human perception or the physical world that it is measuring or describing and the closest thing science has to eternal truths.