Putting Analytics to Work: Enhancing Institutional Productivity in the Age of Big Data


Tuesday, January 14, 2020 
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Kellogg West Conference Center
Pomona, CA


Click here for a draft of the program schedule.

In the age of ‘big data’ the expectation of higher education administrators and faculty to be informed by actionable, highly customized data reports and analytics is greater than ever. Steady growth in the sheer volume of data, coupled with advancements in data governance and information technology, are propelling improvements and innovations at many colleges and universities. Increased competition, accreditation standards, and performance-based funding are additional factors encouraging the use of analytics in higher education. The facilitators of this workshop will introduce analytics, data visualization, and ready-access reporting tools through brief lectures and applied case studies to illustrate how a purposeful integration of these elements can lead to institutional improvement and higher student achievement. Workshop exercises will aid participants in supporting or leading their own institutional efforts to “close the loop.” Activities emphasize group discussion, problem-solving exercises, and customization of interactive online analytical reports to reflect participants’ institutional type and culture.

Workshop Outcomes
Upon completion of the workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Define what analytics are and what distinguishes them from more traditional forms of institutional research and reporting.
  2. Explain the different forms of analytics, e.g., predictive analytics versus learning analytics.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of how investment in analytics can improve institutional effectiveness and augment campus revenues.
  4. Explain the challenges in fostering a culture of evidence anchored in data analytics and decision-maker focused online reporting tools.
  5. Recognize how predictive analytics can tangibly improve institutional effectiveness, e.g., increase enrollment, enhance academic support services with better data support, and augment net tuition revenues due to higher retention.
  6. Demonstrate how data visualization and business intelligence tools can better convey results, provide faster insights, and infuse the decision-making process with customized data reports.

Intended Audience
Participants should have a basic knowledge of institutional research, learning assessment and educational effectiveness initiatives at their institution. ALOs, administrators, faculty, assessment professionals, and IR staff will benefit the most. As this is a conceptual workshop designed for data consumers and producers, it does not offer technical “step-by-step” instruction of specific data tools. To maximize the value to institutions, we recommend bringing a cross-institutional team that includes administrators. Individual participants, however, will be fully engaged in group activities.

Workshop Facilitators

Serge Herzog

Dr. Serge Herzog is the Director, Institutional Analysis at the University of Nevada, Reno. He formerly served as Research Associate, Emirates Center for Strategic Studies & Research at UAE. He has been the editor or co-editor of several New Directions for Institutional Research (Jossey-Bass) volumes, and his research has appeared in the Journal of Engineering Education, Research in Higher Education, University Business Magazine, Campus Technology, and Chronicle of Higher Education. Dr. Herzog is the author of Defense Reform and Technology (Praeger), serves as an auditor for the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority, and as a higher education consultant for predictive analytics, accreditation, and data management. Dr. Herzog is a Research Fellow with the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Dr. Herzog holds a PhD from the University of Denver and an MA from Georgetown University.

Ken Nelson

Dr. Ken Nelson is the Associate Director, Office of Educational Effectiveness and the Institutional Researcher at Loma Linda University, a private, non-profit, faith-based, health sciences institution located in Southern California. Dr. Nelson has been on faculty at Loma Linda University’s School of Allied Health Professions for the past 13 years and is a recent graduate of the Assessment Leadership Academy offered by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). He is passionate about promoting evidence-based student success endeavors and is a nationally recognized expert in data visualization in academics. Dr. Nelson has presented at many educational forums and is currently serving as a Research Fellow with WSCUC. Prior to coming to Loma Linda University, he spent 25 years as the medical director for a health education NGO, traveling to over 50 countries. Dr. Nelson holds a medical degree, and a master’s in health professions education.

John C. Stanley

John Stanley is the Director of Institutional Research at the University of Hawai‘i – West Oahu. Mr. Stanley has served in institutional research positions at four-year institutions and community colleges. He has published institutional research articles and has instructed workshops on using analytics to improve student outcomes at regional and national conferences. He was awarded best presenter at the 2012 California-AIR Conference and best new presenter at the 2018 Australia-AIR Conference. He received his BA in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin and MEd in higher education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He is currently in the fourth year of his PhD in Educational Psychology at UH Mānoa.

Participants are responsible for their own hotel reservations. Kellogg West Conference Center and Lodge, located on the Cal Poly Pomona campus, is offering WSCUC workshop participants a discounted room rate of $110.00/night plus occupancy tax. To reserve rooms, contact the conference center at 909-869-2222. Mention “WSCUC – WASC Senior College and University Commission” to secure our group discount rate. The deadline for booking rooms in the WSCUC room block is January 3, 2020 or while rooms are available.

Registration fee includes lunch. Beverages and snacks will be available during breaks. Attendees will be on their own for all other meals.

Registration fees: $350/per team member until 1/3/20.  After the registration deadline, if space is available, the late registration fee will be $395/per team member.

Discount for Combined Registration: The Aligning Assessment Work Across the Institution: Using A Systems Approach to Promote Change workshop will be offered on January 15, 2020 at Kellogg West Conference Center. The special rate for a combined registration for The Putting Data Analytics to Work: Enhancing Institutional Productivity in the Age of Big Data and Achieving Results for Student Success: Partnering Across the Entire Institution workshops is $595 until the registration deadline on 1/3/2020. After the registration deadline, if space is available, the late registration fee will be $695/per team member.


This educational program has been developed by national and regional experts and is offered as a service to WSCUC member institutions and others who wish to learn about good practices applicable to all institutions. It is entirely optional, and our hope is that member institutions will find it helpful. WSCUC staff will be present to answer questions related specifically to accreditation expectations.

Event Details

Date: January 14, 2020 - 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: Free