SUPPORTS AND BARRIERS TO DATA-DRIVEN DECISION-MAKING FOR INSTITUTIONAL IMPROVEMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS
Johns Hopkins University
Data-driven decision-making is a process that uses the information to guide strategic thinking and improve business processes (Mandinach, 2012). Many higher educational organizations struggle with data use and the ability to convert knowledge into actionable information, which is critical for the economic sustainability of many organizations. This study aimed to examine the supports and barriers to data-driven decision-making from a mixed-methods needs assessment conducted at a community college. College administrators were asked about their experience using data and their perception of how data were used at the college. The needs assessment revealed that college administrators held positive perceptions of data’s value, confidence in their data skills, assurance in their self-efficacy, and a collaborative culture at the college. However, college administrators expressed frustration with the college culture toward data use, difficulty physically accessing data, and limited resources to assist with data and analytics. The intervention may provide a supportive professional development workshop for college administrators to work through an iterative process of creating a custom data report or dashboard building on their data skills and the college’s existing collaborative environment. The intervention was designed using adult learning theory (Knowles, 1984), organizational change theory (Kezar, 2016), and elements of effective professional development (Bates & Morgan, 2018; Darling-Hammond et al., 2017), which include interactive exercises and discussion material designed to improve data literacy, create a collaborative network, and increase data accessibility.
data, data-driven decision-making, data literacy, data coach, data access, data perception, data maturity, mixed methods, organizational change theory, adult learning theory, professional development, DELTA model