Analyze that: Northeastern executives set the stage for measurement in higher education

Two leaders from Northeastern University were among the deans, chief online learning officers, and other executive-level administrators involved in online education who gathered for The Summit for Online Leadership and Strategy conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this year. Brian Murphy Clinton, executive director, Enrollment Management for Northeastern University College of Professional Studies, and Sean Gallagher, Northeastern’s chief strategy officer, presented “Beyond the Buzzwords: An Executive-Level View of the Why, What, and How of Strategic Analytics.” The conference, which was hosted by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association and the American Council on Education, addressed four key topics:

  1. How Big Data is Driving Efficiency and Effectiveness
  2. Aligning Online Education with Institutional Mission and Strategy
  3. Innovation, Access, and Affordability: A Strategic Imperative
  4. Understanding the Policy Environment for Online Education

Murphy Clinton and Gallagher framed the goals of their interactive session this way:

  1. Set the general stage for the use of analytics in today’s world and, more specifically in higher education.
  2. Showcase some of the work that Northeastern is doing in this area. Gallagher brought his market research and program development expertise to the discussion while Murphy Clinton highlighted the College’s use of data to drive enrollment management decisions, build out retention models for the professional learner, and create dashboard reporting capacity in an organization.
  3. Foster a healthy dialogue with attendees using guiding questions such as: How are you using analytics? What are the most significant barriers to or challenges in using data/analytics (Culture? Talent? Reliable data?)  What are the differences between application in online education vs. traditional settings? What can we do together as a field (opportunities for research, discussion, or action)?