IT leaders face numerous challenges in helping their organizations make increasingly information-based decisions. In these four case studies, teams from four institutions show how valuable it can be when institutions make progress along the analytics and business intelligence (BI) maturity roadmap.
Kathy Gates served as the Chief Information Officer for the University of Mississippi (UM) from 2006 until 2017 and currently has the title, CIO Emerita. She served as the faculty director of the 2017 EDUCAUSE Leadership Institue. Prior professional experiences include working as a software developer for AT&T Bell Laboratories and as a technical consultant for the Mississippi Center for Supercomputing Research, as well as serving as the Director of Academic Computing (1998-2003) and Assistant Vice Chancellor (2003-2006) at UM. Gates received M.S. degrees in Mathematics and Computer and Information Science from The Ohio State University and the Ph.D. degree in Engineering Science from the University of Mississippi. Major highlights at UM include serving as the North American pilot for SAP's student information system (Gates was project manager), hosting one of the 2008 presidential debates, working with colleagues in Mississippi to establish the Mississippi Optical Network (MissiON), and deploying a state-of-the-art mobile news app. The SAP project continues to yield positive benefits for UM through a high level of automation and the use of technologies such as workflow and digital imaging to enhance enterprise business processes. In December 2015, as part of its analytics initiative, UM implemented SAP's in-memory database known as HANA. Gates is involved in many initiatives related to technology and higher education. Current areas of interest include data mining, mobile computing, and Web applications that serve faculty and students. The underlying objective is always the same -- to advance the University's mission through smart, innovative use of technology. Gates currently resides in Baton Rouge, LA, staying active in software development and data analytics projects.
IT's role across a higher education institution is crucial, yet campus leaders typically understand IT challenges and opportunities based largely on their functional roles. Interviews with campus leaders offer insights into these views, as well as how to understand IT more broadly to better serve an institution's mission.
Much has been written on automating processes such as payroll and employee recruiting and onboarding. The real opportunities are in the automation of academic processes, to achieve a well-run university.