4 Best Data Management Strategies for Higher Education

Aug 31, 2020 | Tips and Best Practices

This post is a guest contribution from Adam Enfroy, blogger and founder at AdamEnfroy.com.

Online higher education companies are thriving in 2020. Since a third of entrepreneurs only have a high school diploma, online education has boomed while business people pursue online training during lockdown. Not only that, but distributed teams are also quickly becoming the new normal as more organizations are forced to shift to remote operations.

While this boost in demand for higher education has been connected to soaring profits for education providers, the problem of data management quickly becomes an issue. Not only do you need to organize, manage, and share your online educational content, but you also need robust data security systems to keep customer data safe.

By using top data management strategies to streamline your data collection and organizational processes, you can avoid hacks, breaches, leaks, and non-compliance penalties. This guide provides you with the best data management strategies for higher education companies in 2020. By the end of this guide, you’ll understand how remote work can be very secure, even when trying to protect confidential data.

What are data management strategies?

As a higher education establishment, you’ll encounter and process data in all formats. In particular, you may need to manage the following forms of data:

  • Text files and worksheets for coursework
  • Audio files of lectures
  • Video lessons
  • Recorded video or audio files of lessons
  • Partner video or audio content
  • Text, video, and audio content for marketing purposes
  • Contact data for students
  • Contact data for partners
  • Payment data for students
  • Payment data for affiliates

On the business side, it is your responsibility to manage this data ethically. Data management processes include all policies, procedures, and practices surrounding:

  • Data capture
  • Data collection
  • Data storage
  • Data sharing
  • Data distribution
  • Data usage
  • Data management
  • Data organization
  • Data archiving
  • Data deletion
  • Data replication
  • Data security

Why are data management strategies important for higher education?

As you can see, educational establishments have many responsibilities and priorities to consider. It’s obvious how important a strong data governance initiative is. How you manage this data governance process will make or break your higher education reputation, especially when it comes to conducting business in an online format.
If you don’t employ robust, multi-layered data management systems to protect your institutional data, you may face:

  • Data loss
  • Data corruption
  • Data leaks
  • Data breaches
  • Data hacks
  • Data theft

The trickle-down effect of poor data management systems can result in:

  • Non-compliance fines from financial regulators
  • Closure by accreditors
  • Irreparable reputational damage
  • Customer and profit loss

Consider the example of a teacher who receives a fine for breaching data governance protocols after stealing data assets from one school and transferring them to the next. Alternatively, there are situations around the globe in which thousands of students’ biometric data assets have been exposed online.

In these cases, poor data management strategies affect how higher education institutions grow as business entities. If your higher education establishment can’t be trusted with sensitive data, students will simply go elsewhere. To prevent that from happening, make sure you have a rock-solid data strategy for your higher education enterprise.

The best 2020 data management strategies for higher education

Are you worried about your higher education institution’s data management policies and practices? To avoid significant non-compliance fines and data security issues, deploy rigorous data governance systems that automate and protect your data management.

You can use the information in this guide to learn more about the eight best data management strategies for higher education institutions in 2020.

Strategy 1: Document Management

As a higher education institution, you’ll have boundless educational documentation to manage. From lectures to worksheets, coursework to testing material, you will need solutions to manage your educational documents.

Shockingly, 83% of educational institutions find they need to recreate documents every time, as they can’t locate the documentation they need in their data warehousing system. In fact, only 11% of educational establishments can find the most recent version of a required document on an as-needed basis.

Perhaps you’ll be familiar with these other document management hurdles that data managers incur:

  • Labelling is incorrect or inaccurate
  • Information is saved in the wrong location
  • Documents are lost between parties
  • Documents can’t be accessed from all devices
  • Staff members don’t even know where to look

Not only is data management oversight inefficient, but it can also create problems if you don’t notice data is missing or in the wrong place. If documents containing sensitive data are missing or mislabeled, hackers and identity thefts can attack your system easily.

Try some of the document management tools below in your data governance procedures.

Option 1: Vitrium

Vitrium is a document management tool geared to schools and educational institutions that offers “data rooms” for users to securely store educational documentation. Users can store videos, images, and documents, while supporting data integration with your current learning management system (LMS) or Intranet.

Option 2: Wordable.io

If you need document management solutions for your educational and marketing content, Wordable can help. For those managing the content process through a document management tool such as Google Docs, you’re most likely to need to publish your content on WordPress.

This allows students to access your educational courses and see regular updates on your CMS. If you aren’t already prioritizing blog content on your site, you can easily learn how to start a blog in 2020. Since uploading content to WordPress can take ages, use Wordable.io as your Google Docs to WordPress document management tool.

Strategy 2: Video Data Storage

Explainer videos are by far the most commonly created videos. Plus, 36% of online users want to see more educational video content. More poignantly, 50% of your students will watch your marketing videos before ever buying your educational content.

As an educational establishment, these figures show that if you need to be producing training videos. However, you’ll need a data governance system to create, store, and manage those videos effectively. With organized video management storage solutions, you’ll find it easier to locate and deploy educational and marketing videos for your higher education business.

Option 1: Sync.com

Canadian-based cloud security video management platform, Sync.com, is a highly secure video storage tool that offers industry-grade encryption, robust security, and sharing options. Equally, Sync.com has no file limit, so you can store long-form videos and educational video series without any issue.

Option 2: Panopto

Panopto is designed specifically to offer video storage and management solutions for education institutions. It is the ideal video management data governance tool for teachers and educational businesses. With this tool, you can enjoy:

  • Secure, decentralized hosting
  • Webinars and training
  • Learning Management System (LMS) data integration features
  • Video captioning and accessibility
  • Advanced video editing
  • Safe video sharing

Strategy 3: Audio File Security

As a higher education establishment, it’s likely that you’ll have lots of audio files that you need to store, manage, and share with your students. These audio files may be lesson recordings, podcast tutorials, or listening exercises.

Storing these files incorrectly can lead to file corruption, poor audio quality, and file loss. Moreover, while you may not imagine audio files to contain sensitive data, you’ll need to pay particular attention to how you store audio files that contain personal names and information.

Find audio storage, sharing, and management tools that make audio data governance easy with the audio data tools like the ones listed below.

Option 1: Soundcloud

While predominantly for music files, Soundcloud is a stellar platform to upload educational audio content. Why not use Soundcloud to upload a playlist of lessons that your students can access?

You can also create a marketing workflow and offer these audio files for free as part of your marketing strategy to convert more students to clients.

Option 2: FilePass

FilePass is an enterprise tool designed for the audio industry. This audio data management tool enables you to take control of your audio file management systems. You can create, edit, organize, and share audio files. Educators will be particularly impressed with the time-stamped comment feature to assess students’ speaking practice from audio recordings.

Strategy 4: Secure Data Collection and Management

When new students sign up for your course or renew their subscriptions, you’ll collect sensitive customer data. Officially referred to as personally identifiable information (PII), this information must be stored securely to prevent hackers from stealing identities. You should always consider data governance solutions that manage:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Email contact information
  • Official documentation, like passport or drivers’ license images

Option 1: FormAssembly

FormAssembly offers an array of powerful integrations to make secure data collection possible. With practical flexibility, users can integrate with an array of third party applications that they already use and love. These integrations, which include payment processors, Google applications, and authentication, make data collection more efficient, streamlined, and secure.

For instance, FormAssembly’s Mailchimp integration is one option that allows users to connect web form responses to subscriber lists in Mailchimp. You can subscribe all respondents to a particular mailing list and incorporate automatic opt-ins with checkbox features. With industry-grade encryption, Mailchimp’s backend data security systems protect the customer data that you collect, and audience organization tools help manage leads and marketing content.

Conclusion

Hopefully this guide has given you some robust data management strategies to ensure strong data governance within your high education business, especially as it relates to online education and digital course offerings.

Remember to integrate your data management systems to cover all data formats, including written, video, and audio files, and personally identifiable information.

If you have any further questions regarding data management strategies for higher education, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at FormAssembly, or download the infographic, 10 Reasons to Use FormAssembly for Higher Education.

Guest Contribution By:

Adam Enfroy writes about how to scale your blog like a startup to 250,000 monthly readers at www.adamenfroy.com. He launched his blog in 2019 and started generating over $35,000/month in revenue within 9 months. He wants to teach new bloggers how to start a blog and do the same.

You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, on Instagram.

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