Recent Posts by Bret Dennis

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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NACUBO 2017: Thoughts & Themes

Last week I was fortunate to be able to spend a few days in Minneapolis attending NACUBO 2017. As a first-time attendee, a theme I found to be pervasive was managing the limited resources dedicated to the effective use of data and analytics, which is a challenge I hear about often. An issue many attendees seemed to face is, 'how do I help augment limited staff resources faced with increased demand across organizational units?' Beyond the option of adding resources, a limitation in many institutions, was the need to find tools, technologies, and services that better scale to provide a broadening body of stakeholders with decision support solutions. One institution noted the need for more intuitive and user-friendly technologies that would enable more functional team members to have access to data and insights based on their particular needs. While this was a financials-oriented event, many conversations revolved around the need to cross reference and contextualize financial insights with other institutional data, regardless of the system or source. Financial managers are clearly thinking ahead and determining ways they can best serve their institutions through integrated data sources and modern-age dashboards and visualizations. 
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