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EDUCAUSE 2019 Highlights Data’s Role on Campus

by Jackie Davis

In higher education, data is playing a key role in the present and shaping the future. Data improves a variety of things across campuses from student learning to research initiatives. The technologies that power these breakthroughs were highlighted at EDUCAUSE 2019 and covered by our friends at GovDataDownload. The conference brought together experts to discuss these innovations and how IT leaders should invest in technology to better the future campus.

Data’s Growing Role on Campus

As we mentioned, data’s role on campus is only growing, so understanding what that means for technological investment and how it affects every facet of a campus is critical. Putting data to work from both a student and a faculty perspective opens up a lot of doors for improvement and innovation.

Keeping Campus Data Safe

However, as more data is captured, stored, and managed, there is always a concern for privacy, meaning those looking to harness the power of campus data must do so with a data protection plan in place. Amy Burroughs of EdTech shared insights from Baylor University’s chief privacy officer Doug Welch, and CISO and interim CIO Jon Allen, about this concern as well as resulting best practices. “The way you treat the data of your constituents is a signal of what your institution’s values are,” Welch said at EDUCAUSE 2019.

Having a proactive action plan for data protection keeps the institutions mission front and center and allows them to deliver the best possible experience for their students. Allen expanded on this when he said, “As you look at differentiating your institution, being able to say, ‘We respect your privacy. We have a strong program around that’ — we have more savvy students and parents on these topics, and having a strong answer there is going to become important.” Finding the right partners to stand up, enact, and enforce that plan is crucial.

Maximizing Data Governance on Campus

A large piece of that data security puzzle is the concept of data governance; being able to effectively govern and manage data is the best way for campuses to not only put that data to use but boost visibility and data safety. Prioritizing effective data governance in their data integration plan should be top of mind for any higher education IT decision maker.

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