Data is the glue that binds people, processes, and technology.
EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association that facilitates the largest community of technology and academic leaders by advancing higher education through IT. The University of Arizona is one of the association’s 2,100+ member organizations who have access to the various resources Educause provides members, such as research, toolkits, analytic services, professional development opportunities, online networking communities, and more!
Each year, Educause hosts a conference that “connect the best thinkers in higher education technology.” This year, the in-person conference experience was hosted in Chicago, IL from October 9th-12th. UAIR’s very own Chief Data Officer, Ravneet Chadha, and Data Scientist, Trevor Kvaran, were invited to participate in both a panel presentation and a poster session.
This year, Chadha sat on an open panel discussion contextualizing the CDO (or similar) role at higher education institutions. The panel was called “Hug a CDO: A Panel Discission and Conversation (and possibly group therapy for some)”
The CDO is the person at your institution whose primary goal is to eliminate the question, ‘Why don’t my numbers match yours?’ – Lisa Welch, University Data Officer and Sr. Director, Business Intelligence, Pepperdine University
In this panel, CDO’s and data governance managers from various institutions answered questions on data management practices and data information services such as analytics, business intelligence, and reporting. Additionally, each panelist had the chance to answer the questions such as “What can a CDO do for you?” and “Why do IT and business units need to collaborate?” The objective of the panel was to help the audience understand unique ways in which institutions are building rapport between IT, business units, and data functions. This panel also set out to provide support to anyone currently serving in, aspiring to, or attempting to understand the CDO role. Chadha, along with his fellow data leaders, discussed the intersections of business-based solutions and technology-based solutions and how data is an asset that must be managed at the cross-sections of the two solutions.
UAIR’s Data Scientist, Trevor Kvaran, also had the opportunity to represent the university during the conference’s poster session. Kvaran presented a poster titled "The Grass Can Be Green On Both Sides: Synergies Between In-House and Vendor Data Science Tools" that was developed in collaboration with Data Analyst, Laura Surdeanu. The goal of the poster was to report on a recent collaboration between UAIR and Enrollment Management to highlight the dangers of an “either/or” framing relating to the use of data tools and products developed by Ed Tech vendors or internally hired data scientists. This data science work focused on the pros and cons of using an in-house team or an external vendor to build out predictive modeling tools regarding student enrollment and success.
The University of Arizona is an organizational member of Educause and eligible university personnel can make their own account. Educause offers many benefits to members including updates on key issues and trends in higher ed IT and access to a vast collection of resources and programming. Represent UArizona and sign up today!