Analytics in the Era of Black Swans

Aug 05, 2020

black swans.jpgBlack swan events are rare and of even greater magnitude than they first appear. So far, 2020 has been a banner year for this theory, with a global pandemic, global recession, and renewed national conversation about institutional racism. Oh, and it’s an election year! This combination of events well exceeds our understanding and ability to anticipate their influences and outcomes.

So…how are your predictive enrollment models working for you this fall?

On July 21st we invited four of our higher ed client analytic leaders to discuss how they are applying analytics to steer their institutions through these tumultuous times.

  • Greg Flanik, Chief Information Officer; Baldwin Wallace University (OH)
  • Dr. David Kowalski, Associate VP for Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Innovation; Montgomery County Community College (PA)
  • Dr. Nicola Richmond, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Strategy, Analytics & Research; Pima Community College (AZ)
  • Dr. Nick Wagner, Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness; Saginaw Valley State University (MI)

When asked to discuss the top three challenges that COVID-19 has presented to their institutions, they all relayed common themes:

  • Transitioning to virtual operations (administrative and academic)
  • Identifying and meeting changing student needs
  • Helping students find clarity in mixed messages – internally and externally to campus
  • Predicting the impact on enrollment and revenue

Over the coming weeks we will share their experiences and insights in the hopes that it will help other institutions consider how they are applying data to inform their strategies for this academic year and beyond. We plan to cover the following:

  • Defining the “new normal”
  • Value of leading indicators
  • Data privacy concerns
  • Data governance
  • The new business model for higher education

Check back soon as we continue sharing the conversation!



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