How Big Data Is Transforming The Education Process

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Data is nothing new. Businesses large and small have long relied on data in their decision making. Data has helped companies understand different trends in behavior and buying patterns for many decades. However, big data analytics takes these activities a bit further and provides more insight.

Transforming Knowledge and Education with Big Data

Understanding the Value Behind Big Data in Education

The amount of data being generated globally is astronomical and is exponentially increasing in size. In 2018 according to IDC, the amount of global data was 18 zettabytes, but experts predict that the amount of data generated is set to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025. The education sector is critical for economies globally and they are ideally placed to take advantage of this influx of information.

When discussing Big Data in education, there are three primary areas we are considering. These areas are Data Mining, Web Dashboards, and Data Analytics. The knowledge and insights gained from these areas provide several benefits to institutions including:

  • Provides information about best practices and improvements to enhance profitability and productivity.
  • Provides information about new business opportunities in alternate fields of business.
  • Provides information about the best teaching practices to improve a learner’s capability.
  • Improves the overall operation and leads to an increase in customer satisfaction.

How Big Data Is Changing Education

Data collected can be analyzed in a variety of different ways. Information collected on students and faculty can lead to new insights that can improve the way schools work. Simply put, Big Data is changing the way schools educate their students. It has led to different learning models and concepts and it is possible using Big Data to obtain a much greater understanding of how to ensure students are successful.

Transforming Knowledge and Education with Big Data

Improves Decision Making

Big Data in education can be used to analyze a student’s performance based on test results and assignments. These results can lead to the development of personalized education plans and goals.

By obtaining data from a variety of different channels, more information can be examined. This additional information can further enhance the teaching methods based on specific behaviors and patterns. In addition, by grouping individuals based on learning patterns and difficulties, additional required resources and changes can be allocated.

Added to this is the ability of Big Data grants to create customized groups of learners based on different needs and requirements. These clusters of students can be determined based on the complexity of the course itself or can be larger in focus and determined based on a variety of different courses bundled together.

Transforming Knowledge and Education with Big Data

Improves Learning

Big Data is changing learning and helping to build unique, customized curriculums to students. Using Big Data in education, organizations can institutionalize the process of acquiring, sharing, and exchanging knowledge. This process leads to higher achievement as students have access to more information in a format that is designed for their requirements.

Data in the classroom can be used by teachers to improve reading materials and help students deal with specific problems and issues they might be experiencing. By building a customized knowledge experience with digital materials and course plans, educators and administrators can better facilitate communication.

Improves Results

The use of Big Data in higher education is not just one way and does not just help educators and institutions. Data analytics can be used to help identify student problem areas and through the use of customized training, better facilitate learning. Big Data systems help to monitor student achievements and preferences, helping guide students towards improved performance and results.

Improves Futures & Careers

Big Data does more than just solve short term problems – it can also help determine a student’s longer-term future. Not all students know or envision their eventual future role in society, but with Big Data recommendations, students can better understand potential future roles and sectors that match their own personal abilities and preferences.

Improves Educational Assessment

Big Data also helps educators in evaluating their own course content. It provides unbiased feedback on the structure and design of their course and also helps them understand how efficient their teaching methods are. Through this improved information, educators are better able to identify weaknesses in their students at earlier stages and better plan coursework to address these areas.

Big Data can analyze the complexity and difficulty of a course and its materials against specific students. By correlating both the course content and the student capabilities, their strengths, and weaknesses, Big Data is better able to determine the failure risk of the student. With this knowledge, educators can build personalized programs that ensure students obtain the knowledge they need in a fashion they can better digest.

Issues to Look out for with Big Data in Education

Lack of Talent

While there is a massive demand for experienced data experts, there simply is not enough supply. Unfortunately, this deficit has not yet been addressed by most top universities as data science programs are still lacking. This, unfortunately, means that many schools will not have access to technology, its results, and benefits impacting millions of students globally.

Storage and Scalability Issues

The volume of data being generated exceeds the processing power of currently accessible Big Data tools. This can cause significant issues and force systems to crash or slow down, leading to a negative experience and a reduced quality of the analysis.


Security protocols were not built for a Big Data world and need to be reworked to account for the volume of data that Big Data uses in its analysis. While academic data is not considered as sensitive as health or financial data, student data could be used to gain access to other systems so security needs to be addressed.


Technology is constantly changing and evolving and one of the best trends in recent years is the growth of data analytics and Big Data. This technology helps students and educators improve learning through an understanding of real information and data. Educators and schools need to know and understand what information they are collecting and why. The right education can be used to significantly improve the teaching and learning process which benefits both the teacher and the student.

At NIX we have completed a variety of different Big Data implementations across a variety of sectors. With our extensive experience in cutting-edge technologies, we can help you find patterns in data and predict future trends so that you can be successful also.