Reflect on how information (data) plays a role in decision making, and why understanding data and sources of data are important.
These systems definitely help provide more reliable data, but then we faced issues with interpreting data as well as whose role that actually is. For example, traditionally it is the counselor that reviews transcripts and places students into appropriate courses. After the budget crisis a few years ago, nearly all of our counseling staff were laid off, severely reducing our support. Teachers were then tasked with reviewing student’s transcripts as the entered class and deciding what courses were best for them, which became a nightmare as different teachers chose different subjects from site to site. Our students often transfer from one hall to another for various reasons, so it became a huge mess. Gradually scheduling returned to student support specialists and counselors, away from teachers, but it was evident that although the data was flowing it was not always interpreted the same, nor were teachers given training or guidelines before being tasked with this new responsibility. Big data is on such a massive scale, that measures need to be in place within the enterprise architecture to ensure the proper people are responsible and capable of handling the data.
After the readings this week I am hopeful that technology definitely exists that has potential to make big data work for us rather than against us, and I can see how Enterprise Architecture can lead to managing this information more efficiently. EA is finally starting to (sort of) come together in my mind!
I found this infograph about Big Data kind of interesting, as it goes into more detail about the 4 major challenges of Big Data (in a general sense, not necessarily education):