Universities are struggling to make sense of their vast administrative datasets, according to researchers Christine L. Borgman at UCLA and Amy Brand at MIT.
The two surveyed senior officials focused on university data governance and management to identify a shortage of coordination and expertise. Respondents cited issues about commercial control of internal systems, local capacity for data-informed planning, a lack of databases of record, and few coordinated information management strategies and administrators with data-science backgrounds.
"We unexpectedly found a pervasive void of infrastructure thinking and a relatively limited set of data-informed planning successes," said Brand.
The researchers's study, published in Science, suggests universities could expand infrastructure investments to enhance access, integration, and intelligence, as well as fortify their data management capacity.
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