Why Use “Ensemble Approaches” for Forecasting?

If you wanted to predict how much corn would be sold at a farmer’s market stand this summer, you might ask multiple people to make educated guesses using different methods. One person might be a farmer who knows how the crops are doing in the region this year, one might be the person who has operated the stand for the past 3 years and has a good understanding of the seasonal purchasing patterns, and one might be a statistician with a table of the last 5 years’ of weekly sales.

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Data Is Not the Goal... & Other Reflections from HEDW 2018

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Higher Education Data Warehouse (HEDW) Conference at Oregon State University with my  colleague, Joe Bertram. The conference brought together over 350 attendees from over 150 institutions. Whereas last year’s theme was “data governance,” this year’s was around “Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled analytics” and “machine learning.”  I wanted to spend some time discovering and learning how colleges and universities are tackling the data warehousing and data analytics initiatives at their respective institutions.   

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Easily Access IPEDS Data? Yes, Please!

As the landscape for institutional sustainability in higher education becomes more and more challenging to navigate successfully innovative institutions have increasingly turned to more rigorous, methodical, and data-centric approaches to understand the issues specific to their institution and how to address them. The availability of data in its rawest form has increased exponentially, and now include such sources as National Student Clearinghouse, Complete College America, and of course one of the earliest data repositories, IPEDS (The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System).

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Reflections from the Salesforce Higher Education Summit: The Importance of Being Intentional

At the SalesForce Higher Education Summit in Washington, D.C., I had the great pleasure of listening to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and legendary aviator, test pilot, and astronaut, USMC Major General Charles Bolden deliver compelling keynotes. These, combined with many excellent presentations and demonstrations by trailblazing colleges and universities, impressed upon me the importance of being intentional in approaching institutional challenges. The term was applied to everything from ­­­­­­­­instilling cultural diversity to driving student success and retention. As I consider how universities implement and adopt technology and new business practices, the phrase “being intentional” very much aligns with the HelioCampus approach to institutional analytics in three specific ways:

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28th Annual Ithaca College EdTech Day

I recently attended the 28th Annual Ithaca College EdTech Day with HelioCampus Director of Implementation Services, Susie Chang.   Ithaca College made its campus available to over 60 vendors and 200 attendees, ranging from regional vo-tech schools, local high schools and regional community colleges, as well as many of New York’s public and private colleges and universities.

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Ithaca College: Transforming Institutional Data into Actionable Information

Ithaca College wanted to deepen their understanding of the patterns and trends that lead to better student outcomes – and ultimately student success. To do so, they needed to invest in an institution-wide analytics infrastructure that would reveal insights into the connections between curricular, co-curricular, and student life variables and help define their impact on the overall student experience. They partnered with HelioCampus to fulfill their vision. 

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Enterprise IT Summit: Using Information to Drive Meaningful Change

I recently had the opportunity to visit Orlando, FL to attend the Enterprise IT Summit with HelioCampus CEO, Darren Catalano.  The conference brought together members of the NACUBO, EDUCAUSE & AIR Associations, and the impetus behind the conference was to bring together leaders from across IT, IR and Finance to discuss ways they can work together to address institutional challenges. It suffices to say that challenges and opportunities abound.

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The University of North Carolina System: Building System-Wide Data and Analytics Capacity

The University of North Carolina System Office sought to modernize the way data are shared among the constituent institutions and move to a flexible platform that would allow for broader access, better reporting, improved visualizations, and deeper insights. An additional challenge was to make the data easy-to-use and customizable for multiple user groups, from systems administrators to academic department heads. 

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11 questions to ask your campus CIO about information security

Picture this scenario: An employee leaves for a family vacation and plans to do some work while being out of the office. So, they take their company laptop on the trip. But, the employee accidentally leaves it in the plastic bin at airport security before heading to the gate. Maybe they were distracted; perhaps they were running late. No matter the reason, the employee does not realize what has happened until mid-flight. In 2008, a lost laptop might have been a problem, but in 2018, it can be a crisis.

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Is Your Institution Really Ready for Predictive Analytics?

The idea of an advisor telling a student who just received an associate's degree to next enroll in a Ph.D. program seems farcical. But, leaders in higher education act similarly when it comes to analytics by embarking to create predictive models without first building a baseline level of understanding around data and analytics.

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