Student retention is important to all Higher Education Institutions. This has driven considerable re-search and focus, much of which concluded that each institution must define those factors by which it can identify student retention risk. These factors include student attendance, engagement, participation, academic performance, socio-economic background, etc. Once these factors are identified the institution then works to put some sort of proactive intervention programme in place to prevent the student moving from a retention risk to a retention statistic. Much of the research supports the move towards data driven decision making for each institution: use data to identify the retention risk early, make some sort of intervention with the student with a view to mitigating the risk. Unsurprisingly, the research has predominantly focused on the behaviour of the student and providing data to institutional leaders who then drive interventions aimed at altering the at risk student’s behaviour. However, very little research has considered how this data is impacting on the leaders themselves. This move towards a data driven culture has a significant dependency on leaders making data driven decisions and thus their behaviour is also an important factor. This paper looks at the impact a move towards a data driven culture can have on leadership behaviour.

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