2019 Achieving the Dream Data & Analytics Summit: Continuing the Climb Towards Student Success

Last week I attended the Achieving the Dream (ATD) Data & Analytics Summit in College Park, Maryland. Achieving the Dream is an organization dedicated to the success of community college students and closing achievement gaps, especially for low income students and students of color.  Our client, Harford Community College (HCC) is one of 277 colleges currently partnering with ATD to build institutional capacity and develop transformative student success initiatives. HelioCampus’ partnership with HCC has allowed us to not only support the immediate analysis needs of the institution but also provide key performance metrics for ATD.

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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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AIR 2019: The Importance of the Human Element in Data Analysis

Last week I had the opportunity to head out to Denver, Colorado with the HelioCampus team for the AIR Forum. This event is our chance to learn from institutional research practitioners on how they are using analytics at their institutions. It was great to learn about all the different ways institutions are tackling data visualization, reporting, and more; and for us to share how we are working with our clients on combining, analyzing and visualizing data from across the student lifecycle.

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Reflections from HEDW 2019

I recently had the opportunity to attend the HEDW Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The conference was a real testament to how Colleges and Universities are viewing and using data to make more informed decisions.  Whether it be for enrollment, retention, student success or advancement, they understand how to best harness the power of data for institutional improvement.

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Institutional Planning for Higher Ed: How Data & Relationships Drive Success

Our latest eBook explores the topic of Institutional Planning for higher education. A lot is riding on universities’ performance metrics: enrollment and recruitment numbers, student outcomes and livelihoods, and funding. In fact, more than 30 state governments in the U.S. have policies or formulas that allocate funds to public institutions based on student performance factors 1. Universities with the ability to improve performance with comprehensive and data-driven institutional planning stand to fare better than their peers.

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A Conversation with Harford Community College President Dr. Dianna Phillips

Recently we partnered with Inside Higher Ed and Harford Community College's President, Dr. Dianna Phillips, for a webinar on Implementing Transformational Analytics Strategies. The webinar featured an engaging discussion that started with sharing the challenges facing Harford Community College (HCC) (and other community colleges), and why HCC chose to invest in strategic planning tools and technologies to solve them.

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The Institutional Research Revolution in Higher Ed: Top Five Trends Shaping the Transformation

The rise of data analytics. Government efforts to introduce accountability stats for colleges and universities. Students’ increased voice in institutions of higher education. These are a few of the forces revolutionizing the field of institutional research. This shift is already underway, but what is leading it? Experts point to these five developing trends as informing and shaping the transformation.

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MSCHE 2018: How Can Data-Informed Decision Making Impact Your Accreditation

Today, over 100 MSCHE attendees came to the Frostburg State University (FSU) presentation on using a data platform to inform institutional assessment. FSU partners with HelioCampus to provide the data infrastructure and data science services to ensure that decision making and resource allocation are well informed by data. Sara-Beth Bittinger, Ed. D., Director of Assessment and Institutional Research and Denise Murphy, Assistant Vice President for Finance and Budget, from FSU walked the audience through how data is transformed in the data warehouse and translated into visualizations to inform decision making. Specific examples include analysis and visualization of the elements of the admissions funnel to inform recruitment strategies, efforts to better understand past institutional aid packaging practices to inform current financial aid strategies, and the development of a robust toolkit designed for academic department chairs to help them effectively manage their departments.

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NEAIR 2018: The Importance of Data Quality, Data Governance, and Data Sharing

Institutions of higher learning continue to move rapidly toward data-informed decision making, and this movement was strongly reflected at the 45th annual North East Association for Institutional Research conference. The City of Bridges played host to almost 400 representatives from over 200 institutions and associations to better understand methods and best practices for Creating the Bridge to Data-Informed Decision Making.

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EDUCAUSE 2018: Tackling the Top IT Issues with a Focus on Analytics

Another great EDUCAUSE conference is in the books! Last week, our team had the opportunity to attend this important conference to connect with clients & friends, and moderate a panel of education leaders.

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