Digital analytics in professional work and learning



Edwards R & Fenwick T (2016) Digital analytics in professional work and learning. Studies in Continuing Education, 38 (2), pp. 213-227.

In a wide range of fields, professional practice is being transformed by the increasing influence of digital analytics: the massive volumes of big data, and software algorithms that are collecting, comparing, and calculating that data to make predictions and even decisions. Researchers in a number of social sciences have been calling attention to the far-reaching and accelerating consequences of these forces, claiming that many professionals, researchers, policy makers and the public are just beginning to realise the enormous potentials and challenges these analytics are producing. Yet, outside of particular areas of research and practice, such as learning analytics, there has been little discussion of this to date in the broader education literature. This article aims to set out some key issues particularly relevant to the understandings of professional practice, knowledge and learning posed by the linkages of big data and software code. It begins by outlining definitions, forms and examples of these analytics, their potentialities and some of the hidden impact, and then presents issues for researchers and educators. It seeks to contribute to and extend debates taking place in certain quarters to a broader professional education and work audience.

Digital analytics; professional practice; learning; algorithms; big data; software

Studies in Continuing Education: Volume 38, Issue 2

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online28/08/2015
Date accepted by journal15/07/2015
PublisherTaylor and Francis

People (2)


Professor Richard Edwards
Professor Richard Edwards

Emeritus Professor, Education

Professor Tara Fenwick
Professor Tara Fenwick

Emeritus Professor, Education