Admissions Analytics and HR Applications
I was reading this press release last night about IBM and the University of Rhode Island collaborating on using analytics to uncover more funding opportunities. This is an interesting proposition – Something like a dating service for researchers, scientists and investors… yet it really got me thinking of another interaction I had the other week.
Earlier this month I was in Indianapolis for one of our Discovery Day events (Great keynote from William McKnight as well!) and spent some time over lunch with a number of universities that were at the event. A major area of interest was on admissions analytics – How analytics could assist universities on attracting and admitting the most successful students. While there were competing schools in this discussion we did not get into the secret sauce of any one approach or desire – but the overall concept here is intriguing.
The main question that came up from all parties (regardless of school) was around structuring and modeling the data. Yes a few folks were interested in data consolidation, better performance and the like – but what really stood out was the data modeling question.
It is my opinion that analytics are relatively useless without good (ala accurate and trusted) data – and poorly modeled data can and will promote poor (slow, if not inaccurate) analysis. If this is the case, how many organizations are attempting to run before they walk with regards to business intelligence. Yes, the dashboards and sexy ipad apps are attractive (I still want one as well, ..ipad that is) – but are we spending enough time in the preparation phase? I swear the best thing that I remember from my early programming classes was ‘Garbage in, garbage out.’ Isn’t that all we are getting when we rush to the finish line?
Back to the concept at hand, if universities are looking to leverage predictive analytics to determine the best candidate for success (including alumni donations back to the school), How then are organizations doing the same (and to what degree)? We are well aware of things like succession planning and associated activities in an organization – but how many times do recruiters actively rely on analytics to hire new talent ? I would assume that human instinct, empathy, ethos etc. would still play a major role (and I support that wholeheartedly) but how can analytics augment where appropriate so we are not flying blind (and by analytics I mean more than just college GPA , age, etc)… like some sort of affinity analysis to determine successful leaders .
On that point I’ve found a few books on the Kindle reading list (both by Dr. Jac Fitz-enz):
Will revisit this topic after I research more, but am very interested in the coverage of analytics in this space. Perhaps I’m just curious how my alma maters percieved me – Might have to drive on over to Chapel Hill and ask.