Gartner Expert

Marlena Brown

Sr Director Analyst

Marlena Brown is a Senior Director Analyst in Gartner Research and Advisory focusing on Student Success & Academic technologies. Ms. Brown concentrates on education, primarily higher education, and K-12 (elementary/secondary) sectors, supporting Gartner clients globally. Ms. Brown research is on higher education data and analytics solutions with a particular focus on holistic analytic environment that support student success and the wider ecosystem of academic technologies in higher education.

Her technical experience includes data warehouse design and responsibility for academic technologies such as: HCM, Finance, Advancement, CRM, SIS, LMS and campus solutions. Her strategic background includes building data-driven cultures that utilizes analytics to drive actionable and measurable strategies around initiatives like recruitment, retention, and on-time completion. She also has experience in accreditation at both program and regional levels.

Her unique combination of direct technical experience and education leadership allow her to bridge the gap between IT and higher education functional strategic initiatives. She has worked with 100+ institutions around the world in crafting actionable plans aimed at achieving strategic opportunities both with IT and across institutions.

Previous experience

Ms. Brown's representative experience includes:

- Assisted organizations in leverage analytics resulting in increased admission, retention & completion rates

- Established collaborative and inclusive data governance structures to promote a "culture of analytics"

- Architected, Designed & Implemented data warehouses and delivered useful and usable information to inform strategic decision making

- Implemented K-12 and Higher Education ERP Suites (HCM, Finance, SIS) solutions

- Strategic leader for IT within an R1 University responsible for all academic and administrative computing systems

Professional background


Principal Higher Education Analytics Consulting

Purdue University

Assist Vice Chancellor Information Systems

Richard Stockon University

Directory Computer Services

Areas of coverage

Education Digital Transformation and Innovation

Education Technology Optimization and Modernization

Executive Leadership: Data and Analytics

Chief Data and Analytics Officer Leadership


Bachelor of Science Economics, Drexel University

Master of Information Systems, Drexel University

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Top Issues That I Help Clients Address

1Review and optimize current data & analytics environment to support learner success

2Create functional and technical environments that promote analytics driven cultures

3Select, review, and optimize learning management systems

4Creating a cohesive stakeholder (student, faculty, staff) experience across a complex education technology environment

5Establish an environment of collaboration to facilitate the identification and adoption of academic technologies