Page 17 - Campus Technology, June 2017
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IT TRENDS david raths
Linking Data to Decision-Making
Five information technology leaders explain how they use metrics to measure the impact of IT projects or cost-justify new investments.
PENNIE TURGEON, vice president for infor- mation technology and chief information officer at Clark University (MA), has a theory that CIOs are defined by the types of problems they are asked to solve. “I want to solve university problems, not IT problems. That’s the lens I have on different projects when they come my way.”
Whenever possible, Turgeon looks for data to support the decision-making process. When those decisions involve infrastructure, she partners with business unit leaders to get the data to justify a decision. “We have spent a lot of time looking at data and trying to decide how we can use it to make better institutional decisions and start to develop a culture that looks more at data and relies less on gut decisions,” she said.
In one example, Clark participates in the TechQual+ survey to better understand what end users expect from IT
organizations. “The first time we did it we got slammed on wireless. We knew we were going to be,” Turgeon recalled. “We used that data to say this is where we need to make improvements if we are going to give students what they expect out of a modern university.” The survey results were used to justify a four-year, multimillion-dollar upgrade project.
Benchmarking Against Peers
Leah Lang, director of analytics services for Educause, says the CIOs she works with are looking for data to help make investment arguments to other executives on campus. “That is the No. 1 use case we hear,” she said. Educause has been gathering financial, staffing and service benchmarks since 2002 through its Core Data Service. CIOs look at peer organizations to assess their spending and staffing, to adjust the size of their departments and to make the case for

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