Big data revolutionizing education

Employers peruse several resumes a day, some of them more informative than others. Connectivity has vastly improved over the past decade, first with the Internet and now with big data. The analytics tools associated with the latter have enabled universities and high schools to accurately track student performance and behavior. In turn, business leaders are provided with detailed histories of applicants.

Why it's being done
When employers are contacting references and conducting general background checks, they're typically searching for particular habits and trends highlighted throughout a prospective employee's character. Their ability to identify character traits has now been complemented by data analytics technology hosted in cloud servers

Universities are more than willing to share information regarding former or current students and recognize the role it plays in the job market. Many institutes offer over five dozen majors, meaning that graduates with diverse specialties will be applying for a variety of positions. According to Gigaom, allowing employers to view performance records and other forms of refined data enables them to determine which candidates are best suited for the job. 

The source noted that the variety of raw data sources could best be utilized on a single cloud infrastructure. That way, business leaders will be able to view the information and the school's administration could view the refined product in a holistic manner. 

The reasons for apprehension
Although the ability to identify patterns is a useful asset for employers, a permanent record of student performance may shackle graduates to their past. In a blog post for Quartz, contributors Kenneth Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schonbergerly stated that the process could disenfranchise a person's ability to evolve and change - a person applying for a job in 2016 is not necessarily the same individual they were when they graduated ten years ago. 

"In the future this information will be routinely accessible for everyone," the source noted. "It may be every scrap of data related to our progress as a student, from amount of sick days and visits to the guidance counselor, to number of pages read and passages underlined in Huckleberry Finn."

However, the contributors also acknowledged the benefits predictive analytics can bring to students while attending school. For example, if algorithm-derivative information provides them with a time period in which they as individuals process the most information, an undergraduate may be able to capitalize on the newfound knowledge. 

While big data has the ability to display praiseworthy patterns in a students behavior, it could also permanently tarnish their reputation. 

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