Recent Posts by Craig Rudick

Performance-Based Funding is Catalyzing the Need for Institutional Analytics

The shift to Performance-Based Funding (PBF; sometimes also known as “Outcomes-Based Funding”) as a means of determining state allocations to higher education institutions is one of the dominant trends shaping higher education today, particularly within the public sector. Over 30 states now have some sort of PBF initiative on the books, with others likely to follow within the next decade. Accounting for the impact of PBF has thus become a critical element for university leaders to ensure the financial health of their institutions.

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NACAC 2019: A Focus on Analytics

I was recently able to spend three days in Louisville, KY at the National Association of College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) annual conference, talking to people about enrollment management practices. A major theme of the conference this year was data, and how to use data to improve the efficiency of admissions, recruitment, and enrollment operations. Institutions are looking to improve the matching between students and schools, more effectively communicate with their prospects, and ensure that they enroll a class of a size and academic preparedness consistent with their institutional missions.

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An Opportunity to Transform Institutional Analytics

When I first started in higher education data analytics in 2013, after transitioning from academic astrophysics, my initial impression was: “This is it, huh?” I was a bit underwhelmed by the sophistication of the data tools and analyses that were used for decision making. Of course, over the course of 6 years in various positions in IT and IR at the University of Kentucky (UK), including three years as Executive Director of Institutional Research and Lead Data Scientist, I learned that using data analytics at an enterprise scale was far more complex than I had imagined. The barriers to success will be familiar to anyone who has spent any time in the higher education industry: source data systems that are not integrated, not accessible, and not designed for reporting or analytics; the unglamorous but hugely important work of educating people, updating processes, and changing culture; and all the natural complexity inherent to an organization that can daily see over 50,000 people set foot on campus.

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