The ‘I’ in CIO Now Stands for Innovation – Preparing for EDUCAUSE 2014

One of the things we like to do at Rapid Insight is to check in with our customers on a regular basis to find out about the issues that they are facing.  Many of our best ideas for predictive modeling solutions came from collaboratively working with them on solving a specific problem.

educauseNext week is the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, and this year their Top 10 IT issues list had several items of note that clearly pointed to the many ways technology would come to bear in support of the changing landscape in higher education.  With that list in hand, I recently reached out to some of the CIOs at our customers to get their take on the list and also what they saw as the compelling issues.

The first thing that everyone started with were the drivers forcing change.  This included:

  • Increasing tuition
  • Increasing competition
  • Decreasing enrollment
  • Student Attrition
  • Constricting budgets
  • Growth in online program offerings

They were quick to add that all of these drivers were pressuring presidents and senior staff to find ways to quickly identify core strengths and/or weaknesses.  Using analytics to optimize their resources was a common theme.  Yet, even within this there were fine points. I share with you some quotes from them:

“The ‘I’ in CIO now stands for innovation…..find ways to make technology useful on campus.  There is more pressure to align technology with the goals of the campus”.

“In the words of Gartner, the need is to move from ad hoc reporting to predictive”.

“Culture of collaboration in higher education requires buy in versus forcing compliance”.

From the perspective of these senior staff I came up with this list of important items for all of them:

  • It’s no longer about the tool, but about the results
  • Speed and agility matter – because things are always changing
  • Buy-in for being data driven and for trusting the results is critical
  • IT and organizational disruption needs to be minimized

So, what used to be a position that managed the IT infrastructure has now become the center or catalyst for leveraging data to assess institutional “health” and drive change.  Clearly the theme for this year’s EDUCAUSE is right on target:  Be the Change You See.

We’re heading to EDUCAUSE with a focus on practical conversations around what these senior staff are trying to accomplish and what we can provide that will help them meet these goals.  If you’re heading to EDUCAUSE please stop by and share your story with us.  If not, please let me know your thoughts around the role that analytics and predictive modeling are playing in the transformation of higher education.

RELATED : Webinar – Using Veera Predict to Drive Critical Institutional Outcomes

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Decentralize analytics. Harness the power of many.