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Employment of big data in education is a new trend accelerated by a global lockdown in 2020. Businesses large and small have long relied on data-driven decision-making in education and many other industries. The application of data science in education has helped companies understand trends in students’ behavior and their preferences. Let’s take a deeper dive into these technologies to reveal practical insights that take the EdTech industry to the next level.

6V in Big Data and Data Science

The Value of 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.

ThinkUp Case Study

How Data Science Improves 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.

Application of Big Data in Education

Improvement of Data Driven Decision Making in Education

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.

The levels Big Data in Education

Improvement of Learning Process

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.

Better 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.

Discover Students Strength

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.

Improvement of 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.

vSentry case

Issues Behind 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 customer satisfaction.


The value of big data in education is growing with the development of the technology itself. However, tangible results from employing data science in education are highly dependent on the maturity level and technology adoption of a school or university. When implemented right, cutting-edge technologies enhance data-driven decision-making in education that fuel further growth of the educational establishment.

If you want to get more insights on the topic — check out the article about the essential trends in edtech, our latest case study on the development of E-learning Platform (MindTap) or get in touch with our team for a tailored consultation.

Big Data Services

Artem Sotnyk
Artem Sotnyk Education Software Solutions Consultant

With a considerable background in supervising international educational projects, Artem deftly provides clients with strategies and tech solutions opportunities, boosting companies with supercharging digital input and routing them to new heights.


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