Global Summit 2015

    Implications of "Big Data" for Graduate Education

    September 27-29, 2015


    "Big Data" has been broadly defined as "the collection, aggregation...and analysis of vast amounts of increasingly granular data."1 Contemporary debates about big data have raised both interest and concern in the global graduate community.


    On the one hand, graduate leaders are accustomed to using data to inform decision-making and have expressed curiosity about the potential of big data experiments in graduate education, such as the collection of data on student learning in large online courses. On the other hand, big data have been associated with a number of problems that directly concern graduate leaders, posing a number of challenges and questions:

    • How should large amounts of data be managed and stored?
    • What methods should be used for analysis and interpretation?
    • How do we think about informed consent and privacy rights in a big data context?
    • How should we be preparing the next generation of graduate degree recipients to manage the world of big data?


    Participants from 15 countries addressed these and other pressing questions at the 2015 Strategic Leaders Global Summit, a collaboration between CGS and the National University of Singapore (NUS).


    Event Materials:


    1 Cate, F.H. (14 November 2014). The big data debate, Science 346(6211), 818.


    [Photo credit: Singapore Tourism Board.]


    CGS contributions to the Summit were supported by generous gifts from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and ProQuest.



    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.