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Hi All!

 

If you didn’t hear, Educause is conducting a “three-day sprint” on the topic of Analytics.  What that means is that for three days, Educause is hosting 1.5 hours of webinar where some successful uses of metrics are discussed/presented.  And then you go to Ideascale (a discussion board) to “discuss” analytics.  Today is the last day for the sprint…and so far everything I’ve seen and heard seems to point to “analytics” being another term for metrics. 

 

Educause’s working definition for analytics:  “…the use of data, statistical analysis, and explanatory and predictive models to gain insights and act on complex issues.”

 

I may be on an island here, but I don’t see this as anything different than what we’ve been working with for years now in this CG.  At the last Educause Conference, the lunch time birds of a feather type meetings had the normal CG tables, and some “write-ins.”  One of them was “Analytics.”  I was curious so I asked someone sitting at the analytics table what they discussed…and it was the same things we discussed at the IT Metrics table. 

 

I think there is a place for a new term – “analytics” but, it has to have a meaning different from Metrics.  It can be larger, smaller, or a parallel area, like:

“Analytics is the collection, organization, and analysis of existing data for the purpose of identifying areas and themes which may assist in improvement efforts.”

 

This doesn’t exclude it from metrics, but it focuses the definition on an specific area, allowing for separate but aligned efforts.  I’d be happy to see a different (and likely better) definition of Analytics.  I just believe we’re renaming “metrics” and creating another venue for the same conversations… 

 

Good news?  If it is just a renaming, it will still bring more light to the subject and reenergize leadership around metrics.

Bad news?      It could dilute our current efforts.

 

Your thoughts?

 

Marty

 

Martin Klubeck, MA
Strategy & Planning Consultant

Office of Information Technologies

359 ITC
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

CEITPS: http://www.ceitps.org

(574)-631-5447

 

 DTRT  TRW  TFT

"If you don't know where you are, a map won't help,

If you don't know where you're going, any map will do"

 

Please consider the environment when considering printing emails.  I mean, I’m flattered that you would think this is worthy of printing and pasting into your scrap book.  But wait, you weren’t going to do that, were you?  You were going to print (probably single sided, multiple pages) this and make a note or two and then put it on your desk.  It would get lost with the other unnecessary printouts you’ve made and eventually it would be tossed in the trash when you clean up your office!  First of all – toss it in the recycle bin not the trash!  Better yet, don’t print it!  I appreciate the compliment, but nothing in this email is worth the paper or ink – really.  DON’T PRINT THIS!  Call me instead, and we can chat.  Thanks.

 

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Comments

I’ve lurked around on the sprint pages this week and found it interesting.

 

To me ‘analytics’ is the review of data to determine something.  ‘Metrics’ are measures of something.  Very fine distinction, to be sure. 

 

But let me try to clarify:  I track response time for the online catalog.  I place some lines on the chart to indicate if the response time is above or below several levels.  I can quickly look at the chart and see that response time is between level 1 and level 2; no further action needed. 

 

But analysis of this data over years tells me that if the response time goes above level 2 the users are impacted and therefore I need to respond. 

 

So in my mind, the metrics are “simply” numbers and the analytics are what I do with those numbers.  They go hand-in-hand.  And yes, there is a lot of  overlap since you really can’t/shouldn’t discuss one without the other.  (How many times have we collected data that nothing is done with!)

 

Jeannie Dixon

Senior Systems Applications Consultant

Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) - Tallahassee

phone: 850-922-6044

jdixon@cclaflorida.org

 

 

You all might want to surf on over to www.informs.org for some interesting reading.

 

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