University Business April 2018 - 39

TECHNOLOGY

GETTYIMAGES.COM: ARTROTOZWORK

CONNECTING
DATA SILOS
IT

Data lives up to its full potential
when it's shared and used
across campus

leaders at The University of
North Carolina at Chapel
Hill recognized that unbundling, analyzing and sharing
learning management system
data could produce results, particularly
in driving online students' success.
So they partnered with the College of
Education to make it happen. Student
behaviors such as ignoring the syllabus or
not opening assignments will get flagged
for intervention.
Every department at every college
houses reams of data that could help colleagues meet their goals. But that data
often remains cloistered in departmental silos, unshared and unused to its full
potential. Administrators break down or
connect those silos to maximize their use
of information, says Patrick Casey, ITS

www.universitybusiness.com

By Nancy Mann Jackson

middleware services manager for UNC
Chapel Hill.
Otherwise, duplicated efforts and
costs result.
"Data hoarding can give the gatekeepers a sense of control or political
power within an organization," says
Stephen Boro, senior associate director
of customer relationship management
(CRM) at Temple University's Fox
School of Business. Incompatible systems don't help. "Missed opportunities
abound when departments are collecting
different information, or the same information in different ways. That makes
analysis of the data difficult, if not impossible," he says.
While some departments or individuals may view efforts to break down data
silos as an attempt to consolidate power,

it's a necessary process for modern institutions to move forward as student-centered organizations. "If you're not able to
get the data the students need and use,
you're not successful," says Megan Bolter,
institutional research analyst at Shawnee
State University in Ohio.
Here's what several higher ed institutions are doing to break down or connect
data silos.
Use available technology
At the Fox School of Business, leaders
implemented Salesforce, a well-known
CRM tool in the business world, to help
manage, track and share admissions and

UBmag.me/silo
April 2018 | 39


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