Critical success factors for implementing learning analytics in higher education: A mixed-method inquiry




learning analytics, critical success factors, information systems, mixed methods, technology adoption


Critical success factors (CSFs) have been around since the late 1970s and have been used extensively in information systems implementations. CSFs provide a comprehensive understanding of the multiple layers and dimensions of implementation success. In the specific context of learning analytics (LA), identifying CSFs can maximise the possibilities of an effective implementation and harness the value of converting data into actionable information. This paper proposes a framework that aims to identify and explore the CSFs for the implementation of LA within the higher education sector by examining the viewpoints of higher education professionals. To obtain a rounded insight into stakeholders’ perceptions, we conducted a mixed-method inquiry with factor analysis, profile analysis and thematic analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data collected with an online questionnaire from an international sample. The responses validate five CSFs of LA implementation: strategy and policy at organisational level, information technological readiness, performance and impact evaluation, people’s skills and expertise and data quality. Results also disclose diverse views about the CSFs’ priorities and the associated difficulties and achievements.

Implications for practice or policy:

  • Higher education practitioners should consider CSFs for implementing an LA initiative successfully.
  • This study validates five dimensions of the CSFs of implementing LA in higher education.
  • The validated framework enumerates several factors in each of the main dimensions for achieving optimum results.
  • Stakeholders have diverse opinions about the priorities of CSFs, particularly in organisational commitment, data quality and human capital.


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How to Cite

Clark, J.-A., Liu, Y., & Isaias, P. (2020). Critical success factors for implementing learning analytics in higher education: A mixed-method inquiry. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 36(6), 89–106.



Special Issue 2020 Learning Analytics: Pathways to Impact