Four Years of Predictive Modeling and Lessons Learned

I recently got the chance to talk with Dr. Michael Johnson, Director of Institutional Research at Dickinson College, about his experiences with predictive modeling over the past four years. Dr. Johnson will be presenting a free webinar, “Four Years of Predictive Modeling and Lessons Learned”, on Thursday, January 31st at 2pm EST in which he’ll provide a more in-depth look at his experiences.


Can you give us an example of a lesson you’ve learned through your experiences with predictive modeling?


I’ve learned that predictive modeling is good but predictive modeling in real time is just more extremely beneficial. When we picked up Rapid Insight, we moved a five day turnaround time to an eight minute turnaround. That’s one of the biggest changes we’ve made, and the effects have been very apparent.


If there was another thing I’ve learned, it is to automate absolutely every process possible to remove the opportunity for human error.


What types of predictive models will you be discussing during your webinar?


The enrollment management model is our primary model but a close cousin to that is the one we’ve been using for retention. The dataset is basically the same only slightly enhanced. It’s good to use essentially the same dataset to solve two different problems.


How has predictive modeling changed the way you operate?


It is the primary tool that we use to make decisions on the incoming class. This last week has been an incredible example of that. We’re taking a look at our early action pool and asking questions: What does it look like? How does it compare with previous years? What if we swap out some people; how does that change our incoming class?


What do you hope attendees will take away from your webinar?


There’s really no need to reinvent the wheel, so I’ll share some ideas that I’ve picked up. I hope that others come on board and share their successes as well. We all have the same problem set, so it will be nice for others to take away a few things that I’ve seen that have given me success. It would be great if they had ideas that they wanted to share with others as well.
To register for Dr. Johnson’s free webinar, “Four Years of Predictive Modeling and Lessons Learned”, or for more information, please click here.
To read a case study about how Dickinson College uses predictive modeling for strategic enrollment management, please click here.

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