MIT Sloan Management Review (2010) Analytics: the New Path to Value Cambridge MA: MIT/IBM

At the moment, this is a publication likely to be of interest to a small number of people in the e-learning community. However, the ability now to drill down and across multiple databases, collect and analyse data, then show it graphically in the form of charts or even simulations that project the future, is becoming an important tool for improving productivity, setting or changing strategies, and for measuring performance in business. These tools are not just for the head honchos, but are now being used on a daily basis by people on the front line.

In education, such analytical tools would enable academic program managers to make choices about the mix of technologies and forms of delivery to suit for instance the changing demographics of students taking the program. It would enable data from learning management systems to be combined with student demographic data to indicate differences in learning styles, what tools are used by what kinds of students, and much more.

This publication from the MIT Sloan management School and IBM shows how analytics are being used in business. If you want to get ahead of the game, take a look at this report then think how analytics could be applied to teaching and learning.


  1. I conducted some training sessions on business analytics (COGNOS – now owned by IBM) for the clients of the software company I worked for over the last couple of years. Very powerful tools for displaying and manipulating massive amounts of data extracted from databases. Now that I’m doing my MA in Learning/Tech I am so excited to see you mention Analytics in the context of education. I hadn’t really thought about applying this in the educational field but now I will revisit. Thanks!!

  2. Access to accurate, analytics is crucial for effective decision making. In my experience the true usage figures for educational technologies are at odds with the rose coloured view presented to senior managers by those with vested interests. Unfortunately what happens is that we then continue down misguided paths and do not apply sufficient critical thinking to the way we do things.


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