You Are a Data Person Strategies for Using Analytics on Campus
Internal and external pressure continues to mount for college professionals to provide evidence of successful activities, programs, and services, which means that, going forward, nearly every campus professional will need to approach their work with a data-informed perspective.But you find yourself thinking “I am not a data person”.Yes, you are. Or can be with the help of Amelia Parnell.You Are a Data Person provides context for the levels at which you are currently comfortable using data, helps you identify both the areas where you should strengthen your knowledge and where you can use this knowledge in your particular university role.For example, the rising cost to deliver high-quality programs and services to students has pushed many institutions to reallocate resources to find efficiencies. Also, more institutions are intentionally connecting classroom and cocurricular learning experiences which, in some instances, requires an increased gathering of evidence that students have acquired certain skills and competencies. In addition to programs, services, and pedagogy, professionals are constantly monitoring the rates at which students are entering, remaining enrolled in, and leaving the institution, as those movements impact the institution’s financial position.From teaching professors to student affairs personnel and beyond, Parnell offers tangible examples of how professionals can make data contributions at their current and future knowledge level, and will even inspire readers to take the initiative to engage in data projects.The book includes a set of self-assessment questions and a companion set of action steps and available resources to help readers accept their identity as a data person. It also includes an annotated list of at least 20 indicators that any higher education professional can examine without sophisticated data analyses.
Foreword —Robert A. Schwartz Preface Acknowledgments 1. An Optimal Time for Data People 2. The Data Identity Framework 3. How to Progress Along the Data Continuum 4. Back to Basics. Understanding the Balance of Needs, Processes, and Outcomes 5. Data in Action:10 Ways to Use Data to Improve Programs and Services 6. Data in Action Part 2. 10 Ways to Use Data to Monitor and Address Students' Progress 7. The Data Identity Self-Assessment Exercise 8. The Future of Data Use on Campus. Intersections of Technology and Human Decision-Making Conclusion Epilogue Appendix A. Supplemental Notes for the Data Identity Self-Assessment Exercise Appendix B. Mapping Data Identity Components and Sample Higher Education Job Advertisements References About the Author
“To those who see the application of institutional data as a daunting black box, Parnell offers an accessible, practical way in. She begins with strengths and encourages a growth mindset – familiar strategies for most educators, but applied to ourselves. And best of all, her categorization of data temperaments suggests a way to build diverse, effective project teams, leveraging the social ways we learn and work together.”
Vice Provost, California State University Dominguez Hills
“As Dr. Parnell states in her opening – it is clear the analytics revolution is here. The timing of this revolution will be critical to higher education’s efforts to design programs and student success initiatives that are data-driven and data-informed. Parnell’s book is both comprehensive and accessible for faculty and staff who are leading this revolution.”
President/CEO, NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
“In You Are a Data Person: Strategies for Using Analytics on Campus, Amelia Parnell reassures her readers what we all suspected and secretly hoped to be true – each and every one of us possesses a data identity and now is the opportune moment in higher education to take ownership. From interviews with experts and scholars in the field to illustrative case studies, Amelia provides a vision and roadmap for how we can all benefit from and contribute to this mission.”
Helen L. Chen
Research Scientist, Designing Education Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University; Executive Committee, Association for Authentic Experiential Evidence-Based Learning
“Amelia Parnell deftly navigates not only the current state of data proliferation and its impact on professionals across campuses, but also points readers toward the future of data use and collaboration for improving the student experience. This book is essential reading for individuals and institutions looking to harness the power of data to optimize the college experience for students in a holistic way.”
Director of Institutional Research, Macalester College
“You Are a Data Person: Strategies for Using Analytics on Campus should be required reading for anyone who works on a college campus. This book is the not-so-gentle nudge that every college faculty and staff member needs: a reminder that each of us has a data identity, no matter our role or place in an organizational chart. More important, it’s a reminder that we have agency to make a real difference in the lives of our students by making more data-informed decisions. Against the backdrop of COVID recovery and renewed calls for racial justice, Dr. Parnell’s book couldn’t come at a better time.”
Archie P. Cubarrubia, Ed.D.
Former Vice Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, Miami Dade College