Accelerating Institutional Research Through Augmented Intelligence


Institutional Research (IR) is obviously no stranger to data. Whether it’s student outcomes, faculty research, or university finances, data is at the heart of decision-making. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its subset, Augmented Intelligence, we have a set of tools that can supercharge our efforts in understanding and leveraging the data we collect.

What is Augmented Intelligence?

Unlike AI, which aims to replicate human intelligence, Augmented Intelligence focuses on enhancing human capabilities. It provides us with insights and recommendations, and assists in decision-making, thereby acting as a supplemental tool for human expertise. Basically, Augmented AI is a design pattern for a human-centered partnership model of people and artificial intelligence (AI) working together to enhance cognitive performance, including learning, decision-making, and new experiences (

Accelerating Data Analysis

Traditionally, IR offices have relied on static reports and basic data analytics. While these are important, augmented intelligence provides an opportunity to leverage advanced data analytics techniques to enhance and accelerate IR operations. Traditional data analysis methods can be laborious and time-consuming. Augmented Intelligence can sift through large sets of data in seconds, identifying patterns and anomalies that would take hours for a human to spot. This enables faster, more accurate data interpretation and an analyst to key in on anomalies or patterns from the onset.

Enhancing Predictive Modeling

Imagine being able to predict student success rates, grant acquisition probabilities, or even effective scheduling through intelligent algorithms. Augmented Intelligence can utilize historical data to make predictions that inform strategic planning, thereby aiding in making more informed decisions.  This is where my office can and will excel!  We are already working to transform our transactional data into a data lake for reporting and analysis to better understand and visualize our data trends.

Improving Visualization

Augmented Intelligence can also offer more dynamic ways to visualize data. Instead of static charts and graphs, think of interactive dashboards that update in real-time, allowing for immediate, data-informed action.  No, we don’t need AI to create the visualizations or update the data behind them, but think of the time one can save by augmenting our perception to lead us to the proper visualization to use to model the data at hand.

Ethical Considerations

While the advantages are numerous, it is essential to remain cautious about ethical concerns like data privacy and bias in AI algorithms. Hence, a balanced approach should be maintained while implementing Augmented Intelligence in Institutional Research.


By implementing AI algorithms into our daily work, my office can increase accuracy and gain efficiency because of the opportunities AI affords. As I told our President recently, “… my goal is not only to provide timely and relevant information but to provide 100% accurate data”. Augmented Intelligence is not a replacement for human expertise but a powerful ally in our quest for more effective Institutional Research. After all, artificial intelligence alone will not replace you, but people who use AI in new, productive, and innovative ways will. By leveraging these technologies, we can enrich our analysis, improve our planning, and ultimately, make better decisions for the institutions we serve.

To augmenting your analyses through data (with AI)!

Brian M. Morgan
Chief Data Officer, Marshall University

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