TPR2: Inside Out: Sharing Local Data to Improve University Decision-Making

Kevin Lavelle
Coordinator for Web Services, Xavier University

The audio for this podcast can be downloaded at

Kevin Lavelle: Yeah, job security will probably be the major theme of this presentation.

Thank you all for being here, especially on a Monday morning. The title of our presentation is 'Inside Out: Sharing Local Data to Improve University Decision-Making'.

I would say our session is perhaps not as technical as other sessions, but it's for technical people, which I think all of you would fit that bill. So I hope you come away from this getting a few tips and maybe some ideas to go back to. Again, you're on campus; I think that's the point of this whole conference is to not necessarily look at the specifics of what everyone is doing but to really spur ideas and maybe come up with some new solutions for our own campuses.

Rob and I wanted to start with some brief introductions just to explain where we're coming from, because I think that will help you understand where we're coming from throughout the presentation.

Again, my name is Kevin Lavelle. Rob and I are both from Xavier University here in Cincinnati. My background is Undergraduate Admission. I graduated from Xavier in 2002 and spent the first five years in Undergraduate Admission, on the road, recruiting students, meeting with students, families, doing all of that.


I come from the user end. My background isn't explicitly technical, whereas Rob will be, in just a minute. So I come more from the user perspective, and I think that has helped me, as I've interacted with our campus clients, to know their technical skills but also their technical limits and where we might be able to intercede and help them with some of the technical knowledge that we have.

From Undergraduate Admission, after five years, I moved on to the Office of Web Services at Xavier, more coordinating Web projects but wanting to get my feet a little bit more planted on the technical end of things.

And then in the last two months or so, Xavier underwent a reorganization, which sounds like a theme at many institutions, where we moved from Web Services in the IT group and we combined with the marketing group, which had previously been at development area, and now we are a combined unit called University Communications under the Office of the President.


So we had marketing and development, we had Web and IT, and now we are neither. We are a combined unit under the Office of the President, which I said yesterday morning I hope means just better swag and better gifts at Christmas time. IT didn't get a whole lot. I'm hoping the Office of the President, maybe we get something a little bit nicer.

My background, again, is more from the user experience and then also on the enrollment side.

Rob Liesland: All right. I graduated from Xavier a year after Kevin, in 2003, and I've spent my entire time since then sitting behind the computer working for Xavier. I started off as a programmer on their ERP system, so I had the chance to get to know a lot of the data. We used Banner. So I was writing interfaces and moving data and fixing things and doing all kinds of fun stuff there.

About two and a half years ago, I had the opportunity to move over to the Web world, which I did and I've really been enjoying. And so I have a chance to take everything that I know about all that data and see what we can do with it on the website. So we had the chance to rewrite a lot of things and upgrade things and get things moving pretty freely.


Kevin Lavelle: As said in our session description, I think the overall goal or question that we want to ask coming out of this session is, 'How can university decision-making be enhanced by some of the data that we touch or the information that we work with or control?' So we ask the ultimate question, 'Why?'

From the user end, we oftentimes just don't know what to ask for. We know what we need but we don't know what it looks like, where that information sits or who has it, so oftentimes we're flying by the seat of our pants. And I would say from the technical side...

Rob Liesland: Yeah, on the technical side, and this up here might be a little bit harsh, but we know all the data that we're sitting on and we know what we can do with it. And a lot of times, I think the things we can do with it are pretty simple, and it's just simple ways of reformatting it and getting it so that the users can understand it and actually use it to help them make decisions.


So it's something that the user might not even know to ask for or what to ask for or that there is something to ask for, but as data people, we can go out to them and present these various things that we're collecting and maybe some different ideas on how we can use that data.

Kevin Lavelle: And I think, again, as we said in the session description, our goal is to maybe challenge the folks who are on the technical side of the house to think about ways that the data that we have access to might be used by the university and maybe reach out to partners across the university.

I know what everyone here is looking for is more work, more projects, more new things to work on. Of course, there will be a commensurate pay jump and support to go along with it.

But I think there are two levels to that. One is the altruistic side, and certainly that helps the university. I hope the examples that we offer flesh out how we've been able to support university efforts, help support university goals through some of the data that we've been able to share and the way that we've been able to share it.


I also think that there is maybe, as we've said at the very beginning, that sort of job security, that idea that we have that technical knowledge. It helps you look good, it helps you become a good partner to a lot of folks around our campus environment. So there's two sides to that.

As we thought about this session, we thought about the user end and the technical end and how do we marry those two. We have a lot of needs across campus, we have a lot of knowledge on the technical end, and how do we bring those sorts of things together. And so I think that's the impetus for our discussion here.

Rob Liesland: I also feel like, for me, another big motivating factor is working in higher ed. It's a great place to work. We're helping educate America's future leaders, we're doing good things for people's lives, and sometimes in IT it's easy to lose track of that.


And this is one area where maybe you can take some data you have and help affect some sort of change or help improve a process for these students. So in some ways, it can be mission critical.

Sometimes I feel like a lot of things that I do I don't always feel like I'm acting as part of the university's mission, but this is one area where you can really step up and participate in that.

Kevin Lavelle: I like to think that when Rob is running Banner interfaces that he's thinking about educating the youth of America.


Rob Liesland: That's right.

Kevin Lavelle: Very passionate that way. I'm very impressed.

One of the first examples that we want to share, and I think it's a pretty basic one but I think it's something we've seen be very helpful, are general Web analytics.

From the user end, a lot of our users manage their own websites. The Office of Web Services, now the Office of University Communications, supports our users, helps develop websites, and maintains all of the technical infrastructure.


We have content management system, and we have over 500 users on our campus who have access to update their website or websites, if it's an administrative assistant who might work with multiple departments, to make text updates or add images. And we tend to get involved when it's something a little bit more higher-end.

From the technical side, we would say, "You could be doing a better job with your website." So one of the things that we look at through our analytics, I know many folks... I think everyone at this conference is running some form of analytics on your website... we use Omniture. So we've run the gamut from Webside Story, when it was HBX, got bought up by Visual Sciences and became Omniture, got bought up by Adobe, and it's still Omniture. So we're still with them in whatever iteration they're at.

We look at it from a lot of technical standpoints, especially as we're making decisions and planning for new site architecture or planning for a new homepage. We're looking at the browsers that our users are on, we're looking at the dimensions on their display as we think about redesigning our homepage and redesigning our site.


So we're looking at a lot of the technical ends' traffic reports, all of that. And you know all of that.

One of the things that we've done that's been very, very successful for us is that we've also written a number of reports for our users. The way we've chosen to do it is that we run two monthly reports for various offices, and whoever wants to be included on this can be included.

We run two reports. One is for the previous three months. It will be a trended traffic report with traffic on their websites. They can get a sense of when the site was the most popular. One of the things... and I'll show an example in just a minute... is that our users often see spikes or jumps when they have particular campaigns that they've been running, a radio ad, or they'll put something up on our internal portal or they'll send out a print piece or something like that, so they can see was there some sort of traffic spike or jump or return off of that campaign.


In addition to trended traffic, we also send just the top pages on the website, 'What are the users looking at?' to give them a sense of what's popular, what matters to the user. I know from their end they know what matters to them, but sometimes just sharing that report to see 'I know this matters to you, but this is really what the user is looking at' has been a very powerful thing.

We have currently about 160 monthly reports that are not manually run. They are automated and set up to offices around our campus. And we've seen a lot of returns off of that.

I guess two quick stories I'd share. One happened fairly recently. We sent one to our Peace and Justice Programs' website. We're a Jesuit Catholic university and so we have an Office of Peace and Justice Programs. And they sent it to Chris, who's the Associate Director there.

And he was looking at the top pages report and he's looking at the things that are important to them, their retreat programs and their offsite service programs and alternative breaks and all of that, and actually the Number 2 website, the most-visited page within the Peace and Justice website, was information about the Peace Studies minor. It's an interdisciplinary minor that we offer at Xavier.


He looked at that immediately and said, "That page is total junk." It is a buried page that no one you think would care about. It's got text, it's got nothing going on with it. And he said, "I better shape that page up quickly because that's what the users are looking at."

So in his mind it's buried, it's not important, it's not the focus of what the Office is, but from a user end, that's what users are looking at. That's the sort of information that they're looking for. So it helped him determine, 'Should I play this up? Should I clean this up? Or is it something that I can maybe not focus on as much?'

I also had a meeting with our university bursar, and we're looking more at the trended traffic report and there was a huge spike on a particular day. And we're going through his communications and he said, "Did you send out an email?" "No." "Did you send out a letter?" "No."


And we eventually tracked it down that they just put up an announcement on our internal portal, and that drove a huge spike in the number of students who had gone online to fill out one of the thousand forms that the Bursar's Office requires.

The internal portal was sort of an afterthought for them. Their primary communication had been email. Their primary communication had been a letter to the student, to the families going home, and the portal was just an afterthought. But I think it helped Henry realize that he could use that portal maybe as a powerful driver of some of the information that they are using. And that's an insight that he got from the analytics that he wouldn't have otherwise had if we hadn't share it with him. So we've seen some really good returns off of that.

How is university decision-making improved by that? Well, I think it helps our users understand their websites better and also helps them develop their content better. Better manages the website and helps sort of get buy in as we're talking about redevelopment or reorganizing content, our users understand what that means and I think they have a little bit more of a user focus to their websites than they would have had otherwise.


Rob Liesland: All right. We're going to switch gears a little bit here. When I moved over to Web Services two and a half years ago, one of the first things we worked on was rewriting our online admission application. We used a common app, but we also primarily tried to push students to apply on our website because that is going to give us the most power with the data.

So from the user point of view, what we get from our admission office is that... I think probably like a lot of offices, they're probably overworked, underpaid, understaffed, they're working a lot. So for them, they look at the app and they're mostly thinking that students are going to use the application to apply, and once they've applied, then it's sort of in their realm.


But from the technical person, I can say, wait a second. There is a lot more we can do with all this data because we have a lot of applications that are started and a lot of applications that are even completed, but for some reason they never hit the 'submit' button. Or they stop without filling out some particular fields.

So the first thing we look at is how we can increase our communications with the students to help them get their applications submitted. Because, certainly, whether or not they complete the application indicates the level of interest that they have in attending Xavier. But at the same time, it's also good for the university just to get in as many applications as we can just because it looks good.

So we've done a couple of things and we've helped them out in a couple of areas just to help get applications submitted. One thing we did is just set up simple automated emails. One goes out the day after they start their application if they haven't completed it, one goes out seven days after just helping to drive them back. So that's pretty simple. It's an automated email, runs everyday, comes from the Dean of Undergraduate Admission. Fantastic.


Another thing that we do is when we start getting near the end, we'll go through and we'll look at the apps and we'll say, "How far have students made it and not submitted?"

And we'll always come across quite a few that have even completed all the fields but for some reason haven't hit the 'submit' button. Or maybe they're really close and they just have one or two things. A lot of times they'll get stuck at the essay; they'll complete the whole thing but the essay.

We can actually work with our admission office to get them the data so they can specifically call these students, because we can get the list small enough that they can call the ones that are highest priority and actually take some actionable items on that.

And these are things that they didn't necessarily know going into it, that they were going to be able to do that because it's something they had never done before. They don't realize necessarily how much data is sitting behind there.


Another key area where the online application has helped out a lot is with stealth applicants. For those of you who don't know what those are, stealth applicants are people who we didn't even know existed until they applied for admission.

Back in the day, they would have filled out a paper card and we would have learned their name when they were in high school. But it's getting easier and easier for students to learn everything they need to know from the website and maybe from visiting campus but were not touching base with our undergraduate admission office.

Do you know the percentage of stealth applicants?

Kevin Lavelle: Yeah. For Xavier, it's around a third of students. The first official point of contact that the Admission Office know about is through the Undergraduate Admission application. Previously, they would have filled out that card, but students were learning more and more and then just waiting until, 'Surprise! We're here! We're interested in your institution.' And we didn't know about it previously.


Rob Liesland: So that's quite a few one-third. So one thing that we're going to start doing, I think... we just thought of it last night, honestly.


Kevin Lavelle: It will be done by tomorrow.

Rob Liesland: One thing that we're going to start doing is for all of those students who start an app but don't necessarily complete it that day, we're going to start bringing them into our inquiry pool so that they get into our admissions communication flow. So they start getting mailings with view books and things like that. Hopefully, if we can increase the points of contact, we'll be able to drive them back and get them to submit their app.

Kevin Lavelle: I think it's really taken that look of not just... from the admission perspective, it's always, 'Did they submit their application?' but from our end, it's looking at the data and saying, "We have a lot of information about students who haven't submitted. What can we do to support them, to get them interested in the university?"

From an admission perspective, there are hundreds and hundreds, at least at our institution, of students who have submitted all their materials... they've submitted a transcript, they've submitted a counsel recommendation, they've maybe had their test scores sent from SAT or ACT... but we don't have an application.


Well, why would they go through the hassle of going to their guidance counselor and having all that stuff sent if they weren't interested? And so we were able to take a look at that list, maybe matched it up against in-process but incomplete online application, and give the Admission Office maybe a hundred students to focus on versus the 5,000, 6,000, 7,000 applications that are out there and have started but not submitted.

It's a lot more focus for the Admission Office on a hundred students who have shown interest versus 5,000 or 6,000 students who may or may not be interested. They started but never decided to complete.

Rob Liesland: We also have the ability to collect a lot of information that doesn't necessarily get imported into our... we use Recruitment PLUS for our admissions data system, and as an example of that, one of the questions on application is, 'What prompted you to apply?'

And I didn't realize that that wasn't being imported until just last week. I got an email from the Dean of Undergraduate Admission who said that his Vice-President was wondering if we could cross-reference students who enrolled and students who didn't enroll with why they applied.


I got the email late one afternoon, and a couple of hours into the next morning I had their data. I sent it off to them. And they were thrilled. From my point of view, it was pretty darn easy to get that data and get it out of there and get them what they want, if it helps them make the decisions that they need to make.

Kevin Lavelle: Probably our biggest area at least at Xavier that we have that we get data from and that we're able to share with our users around campus is our admitted student website, which is called 'Road to Xavier'.

It was set up about five years ago. The goal was to get students who had been admitted to the university to encourage them to actually enroll and to help them through that process.


It's evolved over the course of time from a general information tool to a place where students can connect with other students who had been admitted to the university, so it's the peer-to-peer social networking side of things. It's also now the primary vehicle where we communicate with students.

We show their financial aid package through that admitted student portal. Once a student decides that they're going to enroll, they will complete their housing contract, they will complete their academic registration. If they're living on campus, we'll share their roommate assignment and their housing information. So it really became the primary vehicle that we had to communicate with students.

That was really the end game for Admission. It came from the Vice-President and said, "Can we get more students to enroll?" Obviously that's the goal for all of our institutions.

From our end, there's a lot of information and data that we collect about the users that we can then share back to the Admission Office to really help them do their jobs better or focus in on students.


As students go through Road to Xavier, we're collecting a lot of data points on them. For example, did they create a profile? I guess I'll back up. Did they get on Road to Xavier or not? For our admitted students, 58% of our admitted students will actually log into the Road to Xavier website at all, which leaves 42%. Of the 42%, less than 1% of those students actually end up enrolling at Xavier.

So right off the top, we can almost take 42% of our admitted student population and say, "They're not that interested," which is great from the admission perspective. Going from 6,000 students down to maybe 3,500 students, you're a lot more focused in your communications and in your efforts to reach out to those students.

Once a student is in Road to Xavier, they can create a profile so they can connect, again, with other admitted students. We know that that's a really strong indicator of interest. Within their profile, they can click a button that says, 'I'm heading to Xavier' or 'I'm not'. Of course, that's a pretty good indicator that they're coming.



Kevin Lavelle: And so those are students that we want to know about because they've self-selected and said, "I'm coming to Xavier." And yet we're looking at a report on April 25th and it says they haven't submitted their deposit. That's a quick list of people to call immediately and say, "Do you have questions? Can we address your concerns? Do you need more financial aid? Do you need to talk to a faculty member in the academic department?" what have you.

So we're collecting a lot of data points along the way. One of the things that we've done really successfully is then share that data back to the Admission Office, and that's really where Rob comes in.

Rob Liesland: All right. We have a couple different ways where the Admission Office can go in themselves and actually see what students are doing, how many of them are doing it, to help them make those decisions.

We wanted to actually put a different screenshot here, but we're getting Road to Xavier ready for its next iteration, which is going to start here in a couple of weeks. This is actually an email that goes out daily to the Admission Office and also to quite a few vice-presidents around campus.


It's hard to see, but basically what I wanted to get up here is how simple it is because it's basically just a simple dashboard, how many deposits we have in, how many have deposited for housing, various information about that. We have how many have registered for prep, which is our...

Kevin Lavelle: Academic orientation.

Rob Liesland: Yes. And then also some various processes that we expect them to complete throughout the summer. And so they're interested to see what students are not completing these processes and why aren't they completing them, because we want to get those students who deposited by May 1st, we would like them sitting in a classroom come September. So if for some reason they're not doing something during the summer, we would like to get on them and get them to do that so that they actually enroll at the university.

We also have a Web piece, which is how this started out, where they can log in and click on the numbers to see the individual students, whether it's the students who are doing something or the students who aren't doing something.


Kevin Lavelle: Rob also has a data feed that goes back everyday into Recruitment PLUS, where that information is then merged with other demographic data about the students and their activities and all of that.

Again, from an admission perspective, as a counselor, if it's April 25th, a week before, at least for us, that big May 1 deadline, and I can make 200 phone calls, I would prefer to call a student who had created a profile on Road to Xavier and who had logged into the website in the last three days versus a student who had never been on Road to Xavier or a student who's been on there but hasn't logged in since February. That student's obviously not interested or not that interested anymore.

So I want to try and identify who are those hottest prospects and allow the Admission Office to make better decisions, to reach out in a more focused way. A lot of our office, a lot of our universities have student phoners, and there's only so many phone calls that can be made.


So if we're looking at, again, 3,500 students who have been on Road to Xavier, there might be 600 who have logged in in the last week. Let's focus on those 600. They've self-selected and said, 'I'm still interested.' Let's maybe call them first before we get on to other lists.

So it helps the Office be more focused in its recruitment efforts, which helps for budgeting, helps for forecasting in terms of how many students are going to end up arriving. All of those sorts of things are happening at the higher level at the university, but I think we have a lot of data that can support the Admission Office in making those sorts of decisions.

Rob Liesland: And I also think that having something like Road to Xavier, it's a pretty good advantage for getting at all this data. But there are plenty of other things that you can do to help gauge a student's individual interest.

One thing I know that a lot of schools like to do is an apps status checker, where the student can go online and check the status of their application. Well, if they're doing that, you know who those students are, and that obviously indicates a level of interest.


Something else that some schools are getting into or have been doing for a while is these personalized URLs where an applicant will have a specific URL that they can access to get at various information.

And that's the kind of thing, too, where even if you create something like that, it's a quick way to gauge how interested somebody is in attending the university. And if you can incorporate some of these other online processes or get at the data from these other online processes, you can track their interest as well.

Kevin Lavelle: One area that I want to point out is that we haven't always had great successes with it. One of the areas that we've really struggled actually with using data and how does data play out is within our alumni area.

The Alumni Office obviously wants to have engaged, active alums who are attending events and giving back to the university or making donations or sharing of their time, all of that, and that certainly makes sense.

From the technical end, we often push back and say, "We can't make this too difficult." And so it's an area where we want to find where data is appropriate and push back and maybe share with the user and say, "I wouldn't ask for that much," or "I know what you're trying to do here, but I wouldn't report on that."


This happened to me just on Friday. We have a big athletic hall of fame banquet that's coming up in December, and we were reviewing a print piece that's going to go out with an invitation to that hall of fame event. And the very first field on that card, before First Name, was Xavier Identification Number. It is a nine-digit character string from Banner.

I can guarantee you that nobody who works at the university knows what their Banner ID number is. I can guarantee you, doubly, that no alum knows what their Xavier ID is. It's not something we actively communicate to students, and so how would they ever know that?

And so if I'm looking at that identification card, before they even ask me for my name, they want my ID number. Well, that's a deal-breaker for me. Now, I know why they want it, because internal operations in our fundraising and development area wants to identify who that individual is.


They want to make sure that they can get the registration correct or they can get their donation correct, and I get it. We're a smaller school. There's tens of thousands of records in Banner. There's lots of... there's probably not a lot of Rob Lieslands. I think I have three records in Banner, which is its own separate issue.

So I get that they want to be able to identify who that person is, but I think it's on our end to push back and say, "I wouldn't ask for that. Maybe we can find other ways to track who that person is or identify who that person is, but this probably isn't the best use of data."

And so I was able to push back and say, "Can we scrap that?" They said, "We'll have a conversation with internal office." I said, "That's nice. I'll have that conversation, too, if you want me to." But I think it gets to us saying know when to say when.

We can collect a lot of data. It's great. But there's also times where I think we need to push back and say, "I don't know that that's what the user is going to want to use," and, "Can we find a different solution from a maybe technical standpoint?"


Rob Liesland: And I think the whole premise behind it is, on the Web, you want things to be easy. And they wanted to get so much data from the user that it's almost like the user would have had to be intentionally giving them data. And that's something you want users to do. You just want them to go on the Web and do their thing. They know who they are.

Kevin Lavelle: One last area that I highlight, and it's nothing, again, that's overly technical, especially for this group, but one of the areas that we've been able to make some really, I think, strong headway is with our advertising.

Our users are on campus. They advertise. They send out print pieces, they do billboards, and they do banner ads on The Cincinnati Enquirer, a local newspaper, and all sorts of online magazines, and so on and so forth.


One of the things that we're able to do is just say, "Does this work? Is this a good spend? Is this a good use of our dollars?" And it's something that our previous marketing team, who are now our brothers-in-arms in the Office of University Communications... so it's not 'us' and 'them'; it's 'we' now... did not do a necessarily great job tracking. But we've been able to come up, through our analytics, with campaign URLs just to track the effectiveness of that advertising.

It's something that Rob and I spent a fair amount of time on last fall with our Fall Open House Day. They were doing advertising buys, both electronically and in print, I think across 14 different media locally, again from magazines to newspapers and all sorts of things. And so we put together individual campaign URLs for each of those areas. We wanted to do it just once just to prove a point.

And as we looked at it, all of that buy, which was in the tens of thousands of dollars, yielded four students who ended up enrolling for the Open House Day. That's an Open House Day that had 300 students attending. So 296 found their way to register for that Open House Day outside of that advertising that we did.


It made a stronger case for us to talk about maybe advertising differently, to talk about the areas that we advertise in. We made a specific case to push for more social media advertising. We saw some returns off of Facebook ads that we did not see off of, let's say, The Cincinnati Enquirer, which cost many, many thousands of dollars versus whatever you want to spend on your campaign on Facebook.

Rob Liesland: And from a technical point of view, we did use our analytics software for this. But I'm not going to lie to you. I don't always trust it. So I also just wrote some simple code on the server to track what URLs the students were going to. I just simply fed it into a database table, who came, what date they came. By 'who came', it's just their IP address. We don't know exactly who they are. But it was pretty simple and it was a way that I could be sure exactly what we were looking at.


Kevin Lavelle: And this really helped, I think, the decision-making within marketing in University Communications about future ad buys. Again, campaign URLs and that sort of tracking is not something that's highly technical from our end, but it's the sort of knowledge that we have that we might be able to push out to users around campus or let them know this is something we could do to help improve that university decision-making.

We've gotten the high sign that we're coming towards the end. At this point, we've gone over the basics of some of the things that we've done at Xavier, but we really wanted to open it up not just for questions for us but really success stories or challenges at your universities, using data or sharing data with users around campus, anything like that.



Audience 1: What are some of the boundaries that you had to cross, with you being in IT and [32:06 Unintelligible]?

Rob Liesland: Sure. We'll repeat the question.

Kevin Lavelle: Oh, yeah.

Rob Liesland: I think we can just repeat it.

Audience 2: [32:25 Unintelligible]

Rob Liesland: And our mic is OK, too, isn't it?

Audience 2: Yeah.

Rob Liesland: OK. The question was about the different silos and barriers and boundaries that might have existed between our IT department and our marketing department.

Kevin Lavelle: I would say there were definitely some challenges there. One of the things that we had been challenged to do over the course of the last few years from upper administration is that we had a working group of usually one, two, three Web or technical people, a few people from the marketing team, and a few people from the enrolment team coming together. We met regularly, usually once or twice a week, to talk about common projects. And so the discussion was there ahead of time.


I think we were able, from a technical perspective, to make the case to enrolment. I would say that the marketing team wasn't as keen about necessarily tracking all the individual areas that we were making our advertising buys with, but enrolment wanted to know about it so they could spend their money wisely and maybe make some future decisions a little bit differently.

We didn't come across any major high-level hurdles on these sorts of projects, but it's something that I think we were able to, again, share our knowledge and our local expertise. And I think it was appreciated. I don't know if the outcome was exactly what they were looking for to spend that much money that inefficiently, but it came pretty well.

Rob Liesland: I think one area where there might have been a boundary going into this, and it's part of the reason that we've had our reorg, is that our marketing department used to work more specifically with our alumni relations.


So we on the Web team a lot of times weren't even necessarily included in the conversation until they would come in the day before our campaign and say, "Hey, can you put this together real quick for us because we're going to need this?"


Rob Liesland: And so that was obviously something we were always trying to improve. I think when Kevin first came over to the Web world, one of his primary responsibilities was to help us interface with those marketing folks, just to get everybody on the same page. And at a medium, smaller-size institution like Xavier, I feel like it is a little bit easier for us to do that, to try to keep everybody on the same page. And hopefully with this new organization, we'll be able to keep it moving forward.

Kevin Lavelle: Yeah, Rob's right. I think on the enrolment side, we had a little bit more connection than we maybe did on the university relations development side. We were not often included on projects there.



Audience 3: [35:00 Unintelligible]

Rob Liesland: OK. So the question was about how we determine what information to share with the users so it's almost not too much to confuse or overwhelm them.

I guess I can talk about that. I think mostly it comes out of meetings that we have with them. And something that I tell users all the time, I tell them when they're thinking and they're telling us what they want, that the sky is the limit. I let them know that I can do anything they want to.

Not always the greatest idea, but what I want to encourage the users to do, because I don't always know everything about their business processes. And what I want the users to do is be as open with me as they can and understand that a lot of times, we can fulfill their requests. I feel like they generally tend to be pretty simple.


And as far as not overwhelming them, I would say, generally, for me it comes down to knowing my users. I know which users are going to do better with certain data points than users who aren't. And I feel like a lot of times, too, it's those users who I tend to be interfacing with more often in general are the people who are maybe a little bit more savvy with the information.

And also, I guess another thing we try to do is give them basic dashboards, like that email we had up before. It has numbers, percentages. If they're advanced and they want to click to learn more, they can do that. Otherwise, they can just see the high-level summary and get on with their lives.

Kevin Lavelle: When I meet with clients, I tell them that Rob can do whatever they like to do as well.


Kevin Lavelle: I actually repeat that word for word. I'll say, "Rob says he can do whatever you'd like him to do."



Kevin Lavelle: It's not my workload.


Audience 4: We had a case recently where our admissions office, all of our prospective students, when they apply, they have to complete an alumni interview. So we match up our students with an alumni locally.

Kevin Lavelle: Yes.

Audience 4: And so they were maintaining their own database of alumni who wanted to do the interviews, which was ridiculous because they've had all this wrong data and they were trying to [37:28 Unintelligible].

So we finally convinced them, "OK, why don't you get that data from DR. But they still wanted to have their own copy so that they could do like notes and stuff with it. Have you ever [37:42 Unintelligible]?

Rob Liesland: Right.

Audience 4: Have you run into that?

Rob Liesland: I think everybody runs into that.


Rob Liesland: And honestly, my take on that is that that really has to come from higher up. You have to have the support of the administrators, and they have to understand exactly why and they have to push it down.


And I don't know if you have some sort of reporting system... Like when Ohio or Cincinnati went smoke-free, if you see somebody smoking in a bar or if you see the Reds smoking a cigar after they made the playoffs, you can call this 800 number and report it. I don't know if you set up some sort of 800 number so people can report when they see somebody storing data locally...


Kevin Lavelle: It's an action item. Write that down.


Rob Liesland: But, really, I think it just comes from the support. And once you can get the higher-ups understand and then hopefully they can disseminate that they don't want that happening... Because, really, I feel like a lot of times when we're talking, it comes to VP versus VP. Like, 'We want our VP to do this one thing, this other organization is doing something else. We need to get our VP to talk to their VP.' Lay the smackdown. Or we can just take away their Ethernet access.



Audience 5: Sometimes it's the [39:12 Unintelligible].

Kevin Lavelle: Yeah.

Audience 6: [39:30 Unintelligible]

Rob Liesland: Right. I'll repeat it. The user comment there was, in that case where the user was maintaining some data locally, it seems like the user felt that the overall data system was not meeting their needs so they had this separate need to store it locally.

And I would say, that's a problem.



Kevin Lavelle: And just for two of ours, for the analytics, I do send just a monthly report. And I do send it as a PDF. I do not send it as an Excel document. I don't have that local manipulation. I at least have my snapshot that seems like it's going to be correct.

And then for our Road to Xavier data, the primary ways that our admission office interacts with that information is that Rob is able to feed that back into Recruitment PLUS, which is their environment where they can work with the data and see who's created profiles or when did they last log in, in the environment where they already have access and there's controls and security and all of that. They can't just play with the data really knowing they have to work within the rules of that Recruitment PLUS system.

Rob Liesland: And you had mentioned maybe getting them to update the data monthly, and we do have a case where our admission office... We were a Banner school, and our admission office... I don't know if I'm allowed to say this... was not thrilled with the admission module within Banner, so they wanted to stick with Recruitment PLUS.


And that's fantastic, except then we have the problem where we're storing data in different places, and they have a mandatory daily import and export back and forth to keep everything in sync.

So you had mentioned monthly, so maybe if somebody does feel like they need to use this other system, it's just a matter of getting the interfaces set up properly and frequently enough so that it does keep the data in sync.

Kevin Lavelle: Thank you all for coming. We appreciate it. Thank you, guys.