Resources / Reports / Creating a Culture of Data Use: A Case Study on the University of North Texas

Creating a Culture of Data Use: A Case Study on the University of North Texas

Published Mar 2024
focus area Data & Transparency

Informed by interviews with administrators, faculty, and students at the University of North Texas (UNT) this case study explores how a public four-year institution and designated Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), sets a powerful example for leveraging data to improve student outcomes for all. This research shares insights from UNT’s efforts to revamp its data infrastructure and foster a culture of data use across campus that can inform student success efforts at institutions of all types and sizes.   

UNT’s success hinges on three key pillars: 

  • Use disaggregated data to inform outcome-driven decision-making: UNT created a centralized data system integrating information from various departments to allow for a more holistic view of student progress. Disaggregated data can reveal opportunities to make policy and practice changes that ensure all students succeed. 
  • Consider everyone on campus a data user and design systems to meet their needs: UNT deliberately engages stakeholders across campus – faculty, staff, and administrators – to use data in their day-to-day work serving students. The university provides training and support to equip staff with data analysis skills. 
  • Invest in culture as well as data tools and systems: Data tools are just that—tools individuals must use effectively to produce strong student outcomes. UNT’s Insights 2.0 project ensured stakeholders across campus had the training, capacity, and support to use data to make informed and student-centered decisions. 

Their “Insights 2.0” project prioritizes the human element by equipping stakeholders with the training, capacity, and support necessary to use data effectively. 

By investing in both data infrastructure and a data-literate community, other institutions can make better informed decisions, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately prepare all students for success in their chosen fields. 

Read more in the full report.

Full Report

The analysis draws from the work of the Postsecondary Value Commission, managed by IHEP, which sought to define, measure, and improve postsecondary value and make it more equitable. Visit the Equitable Value Explorer, an interactive tool, helps institutional leaders, researchers, and policymakers explore the economic value that colleges and universities deliver to students, and which demographic groups receive that value.   

Editor’s Note: An updated version of this case study was published on April 1, 2024. The update clarifies earnings for a typical UNT student ten years after entering the institution.