Searching for Direction: Using a Search-Based Homepage to Direct Users (AIM1)

In the spring of 2015 Xavier University moved to a search-based homepage, with the goal of more efficiently getting users to their desired content. We’ll review the basics of the implementation, how the data is managed, and, most importantly, what we have learned from the actual usage. Do the users even use the search? Does it consistently deliver the results they are looking for? Is this the future?

Data “Silo” SMACdown : Enter the EIP (AIM3)

The continuation of last year’s presentation “Let Your Data Run Free and Run Your University” by Steve Fischer, Jim Muir, and OSU and HighEdWeb fixture Glenn Donaldson. The Ohio State University had the vision and initiative to implement an Enterprise Integration Platform [EIP]. What does this mean? Now direct database access and the political battles that follow are a thing of the past, as well as the sea of firewall requests. Leadership bought in to the hype and moved forward building a "Data Integration"-Hub*. API Manager [APIM] is the storefront that allows developers and system integrators to come to a common place to see the available enterprise-level web services/APIs, the data they are comprised of, and the ability to subscribe/request access for their systems/applications. Enterprise Service Bus [ESB] is the nexus of integrations where services/APIs can be mediated and transformed from SOAP->REST, XML->JSON and vise versa. ESB can also be the center where composite service creation happens. Data Services Server [DSS] is where a developer can turn a commonly used query into a consumable service used by many. This presentation is about the how the data is "freed" and consumable by the community in an efficient, effective, and secure manner.

How to Use Data to Drive Content (MCS3)

When you have a great idea for content, there are two things you can do. The first is to use your experience of creating great content to create the content. The second is to use data to determine what works the best, and how to make it better. Maybe your tweets get more attention in the afternoon. Maybe half of the people who watch your videos leave half way through. This presentation will suggest you still go with what your gut says will work; it will simply show you how to use data to back up your gut.

Data-Driven Design and Digital Marketing Strategy (UAD4)

Thanks to software like Google Analytics, New Relic, Crazy Egg, and others, data about your digital marketing efforts is available in excess. How can you display the information in a way that gives you leverage to act on the relevant data points? How do we use this data to make better design and strategic marketing decisions down the road? In this session we'll discuss successful case studies from the University of Notre Dame on how to take SEO, usability, and goal conversion data and make design decisions, set up A/B experiments, and improve search results to maximize the effectiveness of websites and applications.

How I Get My Geek on in a Cost-Cutting Atmosphere (MPD5)

I work in Higher Ed, in Wisconsin. We've been in the news and we've been under the microscope, and we know we're not alone. "Slashing budgets." "Cutting to the bone." It's dramatic language for dramatic times, and we are all feeling the pain. I'm on a team that serves the campus community through a decentralized web editing model. We have an uncommon vantage point: We are familiar with the whole campus' web content, and with that we see a broad cross-section of processes, workflows…and problems. Well, I geek on continuous quality improvement (CQI), and lately this has been particularly handy. I'll share some CQI concepts and tools that anyone can use to identify opportunities for improvement (and cost-savings) on campus. • Recognize waste in the system (redundancies, variation, common frustrations, etc.) • Gather and study data about work processes and systems • Make information-based decisions for solutions • Show real results Even if you don't geek on CQI like I do, you can help simplify and streamline day-to-day tasks of colleagues, and you can measure and communicate about how you are easing the burdens of shrinking budgets and growing workloads to strengthen the work of your institution.

Finding Your Way (AIM7)

Wayfinding and map data: so many (conflicting) data sources out there, so little time . And so much potential for losing your future students before you can even make the pitch. We’ll look at ways to correct your campus data in major mapping systems, and then look at some fairly easy-to-build and inexpensive options for building mobile-friendly interactive maps for your campus.

Personalizing the New-Student Onboarding Experience (TIE9)

Incoming students are the lifeblood of every higher education institution. Yet once the new student has applied and been admitted to our university, we so often nearly drown them with things that they must do, forms they must fill out, and website after website they need to visit before they begin their classes in an upcoming term. At Cedarville University, we tried to address this issue with the creation of a personalized admitted student portal that launched in January 2015 for the fall freshman class. Once a student’s application for admission was processed and the student was admitted to the university, they were invited to join this new portal. This portal was the re-creation of a static list of tasks that we wanted the incoming student to perform. One big problem with the static list was that students would complete the task, but then have no indication that it was completed. They would return to the website and find the same old tasks glaring at them. Mocking them. Come see how we are working to improve the incoming student onboarding and engagement processes. We’ll discuss the problems we were trying to solve, how tasks and announcements are released, the creation of a private Facebook group where students could meet (and how we limited access to it), and how parts of the task list is integrated with other campus systems to provide automatic completion notifications. We’ll even include some pretty graphs and charts for the statistics we collected along the way (and shared with counselors for follow up!), touch on the related communications plan, and give a peek at where we plan to go in the next iteration.

Techies and Writers Unite! Ohio State's New Content Aggregator Serves Coders, Marketers, Users (AIM10)

Ohio State's manifesto: Simplify the university’s bureaucratic structure and put users first! At a complex place, writers post web content; social media managers tweet; web geeks ponder digital strategy. Enter Media Magnet, a uniform content aggregation system and a joint venture between Interactive and Editorial. See how we’ve applied this system on osu.edu and beyond.

I Believe I Can See the Future: More Than the Typical Analytics Routine (UAD11)

Getting the metrics is not the hard part. Guessing at what it might mean will get you nowhere fast. Turning numbers into action is what makes the difference between a strong, contributing member of the team and a weak link. By using some simple methods of data analysis, you can go from generating a report to providing real value to your organization. This presentation will discuss examples from higher education and explain how statistical significance is not as daunting as it can sound. We will explore methods such as statistically significant A/B testing, intervention analysis, and time-series forecasting. You will be able to immediately apply techniques to improve your analysis and add value to your institution, and you will learn how this kind of analysis is used to make positive changes within higher education marketing and enrollment.

Refried Bean Counters: A Tasty Mashup of Accounting, Management, and Data for the Big Web Project (AIM11)

Bland old canned planning tools giving you indigestion? We'll show you how Cornell SHA used the ingredients we had on-hand, along with some old fashioned double-entry accounting and project management recipes, to whip up a tasty rendition of that old staple: the Big Web Project. Sure, it ain't Le Cordon Bleu, but it satisfies. We'll talk about how we applied the well-worn principles of double-entry accounting to managing the Big Web Project. We'll show how dashboards, queryable mashups, and data extractions from existing tools and vendor deliverables helped us plan, keep on track, check progress, spot inconsistencies, and minimize missed content often discovered too late in the project. We'll explain how we used these to fit into and support the existing workflows of the Information Architect, Content Strategist, and Web Programmer. There's no panacea here, but like any good side dish it doesn't leave you hungry. This is not a tech talk, but we'll mention technologies like WordPress, Drupal, Google Analytics, AngularJS, RDF, OWL and Stardog. OK maybe it's a little bit of a tech talk. Like a little bit of grated cheese on top.

Building a DIY Student Portal from Scratch (TIE12)

No one wants to remember another password. So why do your faculty, staff and students have to keep a list of passwords, IDs, and usernames for your campus email, classroom, and registration services? You may not have tens of thousands of dollars to put down on a service portal to gather everything; the Web Team at Valdosta State definitely didn’t in 2012 when they launched MyVSU. By creating partnerships across divisions with design, IT, communications and others, they developed a dynamic portal, maintained by the entire campus. Developing your own service portal in-house not only saves your institution expensive setup and service fees, but also allows the talented people you have on campus to flex their creative muscles and deliver exactly what your constituents need. By providing a single sign-on, customizable portal for all of your campus services, you can serve your students, faculty, and staff, while gaining a captive audience for targeted institutional communications. Imagine: A student failing Math 1101 receives an email alert with information about math tutoring, or any of the other thirty services offered! The portal also allows advisers to directly connect to their students via a messaging component, and more. The VSU Web Team will discuss the challenges and opportunities that arose during the implementation of the portal, as well as share the developments and evolution of the portal. Attendees will be able to ask questions about the portal, the design process, and the data warehouse project in order to help streamline web services on their campuses.