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3 questions to ask when embracing an analytics model

Prioritizing the right things can help you create a strong foundation as your institution builds a successful analytics model

If you’ve attended an edtech conference at any point since 2012, then you’ve likely seen some variant of Gartner’s analytics maturity model.  While some fair criticism of the model exists, there are good reasons for its ubiquity.  It successfully maps out the growth trajectory institutions face in their efforts to move successively through four types of analytics–Descriptive, Diagnostic, Predictive, and Prescriptive–in a way that is intellectually intuitive.  The model regularly makes the rounds in Twitter and LinkedIn feeds because, like a good TED Talk, it takes the abstract concepts we interact with daily and wraps them in a tidy, understandable package.

Here’s the logic of the model: As an institution strives for increasingly sophisticated levels of analytics, the value of the information produced similarly increases.  If executed well, an institution steadily ascends from a place of hindsight, through insight, and into foresight – knowing what happened in the past and why it happened, what will likely happen in the future and how to influence this likelihood for the better. 

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