How To Grow A Leader

Posted By on October 8, 2010

The True State Of Data Integrity at Colleges and Universities

Posted By on August 30, 2010

What is the true state of the data integrity? What do you and your organization base your decisions on? The other day, while working, a request came across for a relatively routine report that asked this basic question, How many tenured faculty members are at the University, what is their course load and when did they become tenured? This set off a massive chain reaction of 4 different departments at the University scrambling to come up with this basic information request. I began to research what we needed to do to fill this request. It became apparent to me that the data was located in several different locations. The course load was located in the administration system SunGard Banner. Tenured faculty dates were located in an access database on someone’s desktop in HR, which included a few custom reports written by the person who set up the database 8 years ago. The majority of the data in this access database was out of date. After determining the location of the data, we requested that human resource send a copy of their database over two institutional research. Institutional research began by extracting the data of tenured faculty and the dates that they receive tenure. At this point they sent the data back to the information technology office, which in turn ran a report using faculty ID’s to take out the exact course load. At this point we sent the report back to the personnel division of human resources for cleanup. After human resources cleaned up the report they sent the report to the Office of the Provost where the Provost himself had to spend several hours deleting faculty that have retire or have not worked at the University in many years.

What is the true state of the data that you use to base your organization’s decisions? An organization spends millions of dollars and hundreds of man-hours if not thousands of man-hours entering data into multiple systems spread around a campus. We never spend any true time or money on data verification or data integrity until a report is needed. It is not until then that we realize how fragmented and unreliable the data real is. It is upon the strength of this data, which is found to have an 85% accuracy rate or less, that we will make decisions that affect academic careers and spend millions of dollars in capital. We must seriously consider, as an organization, implementing massive data control and data integrity standards. Common sense? Perhaps. We must take a step back and look at all of the internal obstacles to a culture shift in which data integrity is paramount.

1) There must be within organization’s infrastructure someone empowered to verify all data and to request corrections. “When a organization find something like diversity which becomes a primary focus you must put somebody in charge who’s job depends upon the outcome” (Jack Welsh)

2) Strong data standards must be implemented and compliance to those standards must be demanded.

3) Reviews all of business processes must be performed periodically to ensure all data is entered correctly in timely.

4) The most difficult step in this process is building a consensus among all individual organizations at a college or university that use data. Most individual departments will oppose an outside source reviewing all of the data that they enter into the system.

5) The most impossible step of all is to come to a common consensus that a central database for all information must be maintained or integrated into departments. (this means you must get rid of all of your shadow databases in your Excel spreadsheets)

How many of you would buy a new car if the salesman told you he was only 85% sure it would run? How many of us would pay for a seat on a flight if we were told that there was 85% chance we would get to the other side? How many of us would have an operation if we were told there was only 85% chance we would wake up? How many of you would buy a $.99 toy for your child if you were told there was only at 85% chance that it was safe? As institutions of higher education we are willing to make decisions that could affect a person’s life at the cost millions of dollars on the strength of data that has an accuracy rate of only 85%. What does this say about the integrity of educators and administrators?

Google voice the next step in the evolution of communication

Posted By on June 24, 2010

I have been using Google voice for approximately a month now, I will start this posting by saying I have never truly been a fan of very much by Google. Google voice has changed my perspective on truly how smart the programmers at Google are, this application delivers everything it promises plus more. The ease-of-use as well as the simplicity of the concept of one phone number to track you down wherever you are each truly amazing. Imagine never again having to give people multiple phone numbers (I.E. Worke, home, cell and others). The simple concept of one phone number to locate you wherever you are is surely the next step in the evolution of communication.

The shortcomings of Google voice sometime after making a phone call from the webpage you will have to reload the webpage before making a second phone call, and over all Google’s address book is by far the worst design address book on the web. it would also be nice if Google ADD a fax service capability to the application.
Even though this is a new application from Google, which is in the early phases of development. Google hit this one out of the park, the application is easy to use with a simple web interface. Which allows each user to organize their contacts into groups which then allows you to forward each group to the proper phone number depending on their importance. When the wife calls, I have been given orders by HER to make sure every phone number I could possibly be at will ring. So any time the wife calls the cell phone rings simultaneously my office phone rings to ensure she can track me down at any given moment. Google voice also allows you to block calls from people you rather not talk to. It also allows you to have separate voicemails for each individual group (IE business, coworkers, family and the most important group of all the wife). The other great features of Google voice are.

Google voice features
One number for all your calls and SMS
Call screening – Announce and screen callers
Listen in – Listen before taking a call
Block calls – Keep unwanted callers at bay
SMS – Send, receive, and store SMS
Place calls – Call US numbers for free
Taking calls – Answer on any of your phones
Phone routing – Phones ring based on who calls
Forwarding phones – Add phones and decide which ring
Voicemail as easy as email, with transcripts
Voicemail transcripts – Read what your voicemail says
Listen to voicemail – Check online or from your phone
Notifications – Receive voicemails via email or SMS
Personalize greeting – Vary greetings by caller
Share voicemail – Forward or download voicemails
More cool things you can do with Google VoiceConference calling – Join people into a single call
Call record – Record calls and store them online
Call switch – Switch phones during a call
Mobile site – View your inbox from your mobile
GOOG-411 – Check directory assistance
Manage groups – Set preferences by group

Overall my opinion of Google voice, is if you can get a Google voice account you should. Kudos to the programmers at Google and please keep up the good work if you can possibly fix your address book I would highly appreciate it.

Room 3026 Live: Episode 35

Posted By on June 22, 2010

Excellent conversation on social media and networking, a must listen….

Listen to internet radio with Damond Nollan on Blog Talk Radio

The new paradigm in social media management

Posted By on April 30, 2010

I have run into an interesting dilemma, over the last couple of days I have received several phone calls inquiring into setting up Social Media Profile (SMP) for different organizations. The gist of the phone calls always start with the question how many people can we get to follow my profile. As I reflect on that question how many people will follow me the answer is, it doesn’t really matter if it’s 1 or 10,000.

There should always be some type of measurable outcome that is based on a realistic and measurable goal. How much direct revenue can you contribute to your profile or direct interest (i.e. signing a petition, donating to charity, supporting a candidate for public office) in a particular cause? Can their Social Media Profile (SMP) turn into real and measurable statistics. win I begin to explain to people that, we needed better metrics to judge success of a social media profile then the number of users, 1 or 10,000. We must set realistic measurable goals that helps there organizations Judge the true effectiveness of any Social Media Profile (SMP).

PS: I will let you know how this conversation plays out over the next couple of weeks. I can always charge people lots of money to slap up something that draws thousands of people that served no real purpose in helping to improve their overall image, revenue-Stream or communicate with stakeholders.