Childers Featured in Higher Ed Webinar on Analytics

Childers Featured in Higher Ed Webinar on Analytics

By Lisa K. StageOffice of the Chief Information Officer
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Hank Childers
Hank Childers

Hank Childers, senior director of Enterprise Information and Analytics at the University of Arizona, recently led a national webinar on using online data systems in higher education settings.

Campus Technology Magazine hosted the complimentary webinar, called Smart Strategies for Enterprise Analytics in Higher Education, on June 12. Featured with Childers were John Rome, deputy chief information officer and business intelligence strategist at Arizona State University, and Selim Burduroglu, a solution architect at Oracle. Campus Technology Magazine editor Linda Briggs introduced the discussion.

The webinar can be viewed online here for the next six months.

Childers came to the UA's Office of the Chief Information Officer in 2008 as the director for the Mosaic Project, a five-year, $80 million upgrade to existing administrative systems at the UA. As the major systems were replaced with the UAccess system, he turned his attention to enterprise information and analytics. His goal now is to maximize the robust capabilities and integration of UAccess to provide a greater perspective of the business functions of the University.

The webinar focused on "making more effective use of data about students," Childers says. He focused on two existing initiatives at the UA.

"Currently, we are using data from the student systems for enrollment monitoring and retention analysis," he said. Information pulled from the UAccess Student system and from the Office of Institutional Research and Planning Support contributes to this reporting.

Childers also discussed Smart Planner, a proactive and interactive tool for students, staff and faculty created at the UA to help with retention, course planning and moving students toward graduation. On an institutional level, Childers' group plans to help the University use the information to better project enrollment in classes, also known as seat demand, for planning purposes.

Childers and others will work with Sudha Ram of the Eller College's Management Information Systems INSITE Center this summer to delve into UAWiFi and CatCard usage, using data that has had personal identifying information removed.

"It's an experiment to see if we can better understand aggregate behavior of students and staff," Childers says. "The more information we can learn, the better prepared we might be to anticipate and meet their needs."

Rome covered projects at ASU, including visualization of faculty compensation data. He also discussed how ASU uses data from its learning management system for retention. Childers and Rome coordinated to address different topics during the webinar to ensure wider discussion of student information possibilities.

After their individual project descriptions, Childers and Rome together presented advice and best practices based on their experience for universities wanting to expand their use of business intelligence, then participated in a question-and-answer session.

Campus Technology Magazine covers education technology on higher-education campuses and universities.

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