Natural Partners | Leveraging Analytic Talent at Your Institution

Presenter: John P Gough, The University of Texas at Austin
Year: 2017
Price: Members: $49; Nonmembers: $79
Body of Knowledge Alignment:
 Data Analytics

Competencies and Levels: 

  • DA: Competency 9: Change Management/Strategic Thinking, LI & LII
  • DA: Competency 2: Project Management, LI & LII
  • DA: Competency 6: Communication, LI & LII

During periods of fiscal uncertainty, it is often difficult to add new lines or attract new talent to an advancement program. The University of Illinois has recently faced such a period caused by an ongoing state budget crisis. In an industry where advancement services often take a back seat to major gift programs, unconventional and collaborative measures have been taken to prevent our analytics program from atrophying. 

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the analytics division of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement (OVCIA) has spearheaded the creation of an analytics internship program in partnership with the Department of Statistics and the School of Information Sciences. Graduate students in these programs are given an opportunity to gain data science experience in a real-world setting while the analytics division benefits from added human resources in the form of eager and talented students. 

This presentation will discuss the challenges and the collaborative efforts that went into building the administrative relationships necessary to establish the program, while also giving a number of case studies to show the type and quality of work undertaken by these gifted students. From sentiment analysis, to demographic profiling, to statistical modeling, these students have added value and helped increase our efficiency as a program and our understanding of our donor base. 

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