UNC CAUSE 2018: Definitely More Than Just a Conference

Last week I had the privilege of attending the 2018 UNC Cause annual conference, which was held in Greenville, NC on October 1-3. UNC CAUSE was formed in 1970 by the computing centers of all 16 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Its purpose? To promote cooperation and information exchange between the campuses of the UNC System in all areas related to information technology. 

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Reflections from NACAC 2018: National Association for College Admission Counseling

Last week, we had the opportunity to attend the 74th annual NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) 2018 Conference in beautiful Salt Lake City, UT. The focus of the conference was connecting professionals who are tasked with creating the appropriate bridge for students to enroll in the right academic program for them, whether that is coming from high school, an adult who is embarking on their first time in college, or a returning adult. A lot of the talk around the conference floor was around how colleges can attract and retain the right students for them, the changing student demographic, and associated expectations of today’s students (and their parents.) The growing importance of the role of transfer students and the value of a college degree were also top of mind for most institutions.

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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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