Using Data to Make Gains: Lessons from a Former Secretary of Education

Elementary education

Often the conversation about higher education starts at the college level. But there are many lessons that colleges and universities can learn from the elementary and high school models when it comes to building a successful program.

As far as student success, that groundwork could be laid as early as pre-Kindergarten. In his book, How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success from One of the Nation’s Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education, Arne Duncan makes the case that schools need to shift from their current K-12 model to a PK-14 model to best keep up with a twenty-first-century economy, and they also need to make more data-driven decisions. Here are some of the takeaways from his book.

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Understanding the Organic Wine Craze

Organic wines

For some wineries, farming organically has always been a way of life, but others are adding organic wine to their portfolio to keep up with consumer demand.

In fact, more than 1 billion bottles of organic wine are set to be consumed around the world in 2019. While it still only accounts for 3.6% of all consumption, that number is expected to continue to grow by 2022.

The organic wine segment has been growing over the past few years, as consumers are focused more on what they eat and drink.

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Why Companies Should Consider Health IT Outsourcing

Health IT

In the world of value-based reimbursement, health system CFOs are finding it harder and harder to deny the cost-saving and quality improvement opportunities of health IT outsourcing. According to a Zion Market Research, this market is expected to reach $73 billion by 2024 with a CAGR of 6.5%.

Along with value-based incentives to drive down costs, the health IT outsourcing market will be driven by a widespread lack of IT infrastructure and trained professionals in the healthcare space. Let’s take a look at the benefits, process, and challenges facing this growing industry.

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Patient Perspectives on Technology in Healthcare

EHRIn recent years, sophisticated technology has had a huge impact on the practices of most healthcare professionals. Gone are the days of racks full of patient record folders in a doctor’s office. Electronic health records (EHRs) have replaced paper records in most medical environments.

However, adaptation and acceptance of technology in healthcare has been fraught with difficulty. Some of this is due to fear of change from older personnel, but most is due to the sheer volume of data collected over years, especially as the systems mature. Let’s examine.

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How Artificial Intelligence Is Being Used in Higher Education

Artificial Intelligence Higher Education

Colleges and universities are using data in ever-growing ways. They analyze data in order to figure out which programs are doing well or whether new programs need to be added. They then examine the data to identify past patterns that might help predict what will happen next. And the data is increasingly being put to work in the field of artificial intelligence.

The use of artificial intelligence in U.S. education is predicted to grow by almost 50% over the next few years. Its uses range from the immediate and practical to the aspirational. Let’s take a look at how schools are using data in the field of AI, both directly with students and for administrative purposes on the back end, as well as the challenges the technology can present.

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How Wine Suppliers Can Capitalize on the Drinking at Home Trend

Drinking at Home

A perfect day for any wine lover can range from drinking wine on the front porch, to sharing a homemade dinner with friends while sipping on a Malbec, to grabbing wine in a can and bringing it to the beach.

With the price-per-glass in a restaurant of a single glass of wine ranging from $9 to $16, it’s no surprise that more than 80% of all wine consumption is happening “off premises,” according to LEK Insights. Drinking at home is an increasing trend in wine and spirits and it’s impacting how suppliers should think about doing business. Let’s take a look. (more…)

5 Takeaways from the 2019 Wisdom of Crowds BI Market Study

Wisdom of Crowds

The annual Wisdom of Crowds® Business Intelligence Market Study by Dresner Advisory Services is out, and, as always, it is chock full of information on the status of business intelligence today.

Curious about the state of data, how successful organizations are with business intelligence, and how different vendors are rated by users? Let’s examine the top takeaways from the report. (more…)

Dimensional Insight Book Club: Deep Medicine

They say you can’t replace the human touch, but many believe artificial intelligence (AI) is learning just how.

In Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again, Eric Topol examines AI’s role in healthcare and how we may be welcoming a new group of colleagues sooner than we think. Let’s take a look at “Deep Medicine” in today’s Dimensional Insight book club review. (more…)

How a Billionaire’s Surprise Gift and an Admissions Scandal Impact Higher Ed’s Use of Data

Graduation Gift Recent news from the world of higher education has been a real mixed bag. There was the feel-good story from Morehouse College, where billionaire tech investor Robert F. Smith shocked everyone with the surprise pledge in his graduation speech to pay the student debt of that school’s class of 2019.

The month before, the news was more sordid, as high-profile celebrities became the public face of a college admissions scandal. The two stories seem starkly different at first glance, but what they have in common is the fact that they shed light on the economic situations faced by students and families when it comes to higher education. These are the types of situations that colleges and universities are using data to try and manage.

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How Technology Is Changing the Wine Experience

Technology Wine Experience

Technology continues to rapidly change almost every industry, with no exception to wine and spirits.

From high-flying drones above the vineyards to smart phones scanning wine labels, technology is improving your latest glass of red. Let’s examine how wineries are using technology to produce better products and provide a better customer experience. (more…)

Hot Topic: Big Brother or Modern Convenience?



Big Brother

Imagine driving up to the McDonald’s of the future: the screen at the drive-thru greets you by name – “Hello, Kathy” – and asks if you want your usual order. It would know I usually order a double cheeseburger and small fries, no drink. But on an unusually cold day, it would offer me a hot coffee (cream, no sugar), because it knows I would go for that. It also knows what items other customers are ordering, and it may offer me a trending item to see if I’d try it.

Does this future vision of McDonald’s excite you or terrify you? And would that opinion change if it wasn’t McDonald’s customizing your ordering experience, but an airline tracking your movements with facial recognition? Businesses have mountains of customer data at their fingertips, and now they’re starting to use it in myriad ways that are not only personalizing the customer experience, but are also raising privacy concerns. Let’s take a look in today’s “Hot Topic” blog post. (more…)

The Future of Healthcare: What Can We Expect by 2025?

Future of HealthcareWhat will healthcare look like in 2025? How about in the years beyond? What are the priorities for healthcare organizations in the next several years?

A look at the future of healthcare took center stage at the recent ACHE of Massachusetts Spring Conference. And despite all the challenges in healthcare today, the speakers at the conference are hopeful we will be able to tackle some big issues in the years ahead. Here’s a look at what we can expect and what we hope will happen by 2025. (more…)

Drinking to Your Health: How Consumers Are Reaching for “Healthy” Wines

Healthy Wines

Enjoying a nice glass of wine is a great treat, but many drinkers these days are worried that their favorite chardonnay might be setting them back at the gym.

You’ve heard for years that a glass of red wine can be good for the heart, but the sugar and carbs could contribute to different health issues.

Wine companies are capitalizing on consumer’s desires to stay fit, but still drink, by offering low-sugar and low-carb wines as a part of their portfolios.

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Takeaways from New England HIMSS: The Human Side of Healthcare Technology

New England HIMSSWe often talk about healthcare technology in terms of benefits such as time savings or cost savings. But what about the human benefits? For providers that means a better quality of life. The same is true of patients – although that better quality of life often means better treatment of disease and a higher life expectancy.

This intersection of technology and humanity took center stage at the New England HIMSS Spring Conference, held on May 16th at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Here are some highlights and takeaways from the event. (more…)

The Future of Telehealth and Data Analytics

TelehealthTechnology has decreased the distance between people. Outsourced manufacturing has brought together the global economy, Facebook and WhatsApp make it simple to have a conversation with a friend across the globe, and Google makes the spread of ideas across oceans instantaneous.

These trends have also greatly impacted the healthcare industry by shrinking the gap between patients and providers. Telehealth services – while still relatively uncommon – have increased in use over the last several years according to researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Let’s examine the rise of telehealth and how analytics can improve the experience for both patients and providers.

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Job Prospects for the Class of 2019: Both Data Skills and Soft Skills Are Important

Class of 2019

Congratulations to the class of 2019! That’s congratulations for the completion of all the hard work that earned a diploma, and also congratulations on some very good timing. The class of 2019 is entering the best job market in nearly 50 years.

As with any graduating class, though, there will be competition for the best jobs, and the skills that might determine who employers pick might not be what you think. Despite the appeal of data analysts – one of the college majors drawing the most attention from both students and employers – it isn’t just about the data. Which is not to say there isn’t plenty of data to look into about this year’s graduating class. Let’s dive into it a little more and explore the job prospects for the Class of 2019.

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Consumers Are Drinking With Their Eyes: Wine Labels Dominate Buying Motivation

Wine Labels Buying MotivationWine labels are becoming a dominating factor for consumers when deciding which wine to buy in stores.

Wine drinkers want more clarity with their labels: 36% say they are confused by wine labels and 81% want the labels to be clear and easy to understand, according to Wine Vine Analytics.

Brands and vineyards are now using labels to draw in new customers and tell them what their brand is really about. So if you are a brand, what are consumers looking for in a wine label? How can you ensure your brand is standing out among the rest? Let’s take a look.

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How Data Analytics Can Help in America’s Opioid Epidemic

Data Analytics Opioid EpidemicThe opioid epidemic that is sweeping the country is one of the most commonly discussed health crises in America. But what is baffling is how society simply cannot keep up with the death toll for which these powerful synthetic drugs are responsible.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2017, opiates were responsible for the deaths of over 47,500 Americans. To put these powerful drugs into perspective, heroin and prescription opiates are the lesser of the evils, as fentanyl can be up to “100 times more potent than morphine.” Of course, when the victims of this epidemic are already heavily addicted as a result of their dependency on physician-prescribed pills, the progression of the disease leads them to believe that fentanyl – the most powerful killer – is the most desired to obtain.

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Hot Topic: The Student Debt Crisis

Student Debt

Student debt is continually in the headlines, and with good reason. In the U.S. alone, more than 44 million people owe $1.5 trillion in student debt, which averages to more than $34,000 per borrower.

The student debt crisis promises to be a focal issue in the 2020 presidential election, with Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren announcing her plan to cancel student debt for many borrowers. What do you need to know about this crisis? How can analytics help? Let’s take a look in today’s “Hot Topic” blog.

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5 Ways to a More Data-Driven Organization

Data-Driven Organization

So you have a lot of data. And you’ve heard a lot about the importance of being a “data-driven organization.” But your company just can’t seem to connect the dots between the data at hand and making better decisions.

I wrote before about 4 best practices to creating a data-driven culture. But what if your organization doesn’t embrace any of the practices I discussed? Don’t worry – you can become more data-driven. Here are 5 things to focus on to improve your success with gaining insights through data. (more…)

The Past Predicts the Future: How Predictive Analytics Can Help Schools with Retention

Predictive Analytics Can Help Schools with Retention

It’s a saying we’ve all heard in one history class or another: Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. The maxim can apply to business intelligence as well – especially when it comes to predictive analytics. In fact, learning from past experiences is key to making predictive analytics work.

Data analysts are able to use past results to plot out the most likely outcomes in the future. Many colleges and universities are using predictive analytics to increase retention. Let’s take a look at how they’re doing it and exactly what information they are using to make the most informed decisions.

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How Wineries Can Take Advantage of Enotourism

Wooden wine tour sign with arrow with green shrubs on background

There’s nothing like a great vacation — especially when there’s wine involved. Wine lovers are willing to travel for great wine and a great experience.

Enotourism, which is travel aimed at wine regions, has been booming for nearly a decade now and is continuing to rise. Let’s take a look at the growth of this trend, and how wineries can react and make the most of consumers who are building vacations around wine experiences.

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The Human Side of Data Integration

Human Side of Data Integration

The process of implementing a data analytics solution into an organization can be time-consuming and costly. Once an analytics platform is in place, employees must learn to use the technology. However, it seems the largest stumbling block in the data integration process is not so easily defined.

A surprising development arose from the 2019 Big Data and AI Executive Survey conducted by NewVantage Partners. While many organizations are increasing their investments in analytics, there are many stumbling blocks. And the biggest challenge to analytics success: people.

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Lessons Learned from a Technological Transformation Gone Wrong

Lessons Learned Technology Advancements

It is a tense time in the world of higher education. The schools that aren’t putting pressure on themselves to respond to popular trends and try to stay ahead of the curve are certainly receiving pressure from their communities to do so – whether it’s from a Board of Trustees or reflected in feedback from students and parents.

It’s easy to find the talking points that make it sound like an administration is making necessary changes to improve the way a school is using technology. But doing the work to back up the talk is a different story. A recent situation at the University of Texas at Austin provides a look at what not to do in this situation. Here’s how you can avoid falling into the same trap.

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Direct-to-Consumer Sales Rise Among Wine Lovers

DTC Sales

Wineries are cutting out the middleman and selling directly to consumers — and Americans are loving it. With wine shipping laws evolving, more wineries are allowed to ship directly to the consumer than ever before. The DTC channel hit $3 billion in 2018, up from $2.66 billion in 2017, according to Wine Vine Analytics. The channel is forecasted to grow around 11% a year, reaching $5.2 billion by 2022. How can wine suppliers take advantage of this trend and what are some of the challenges they may face? Let’s take a look. (more…)

Hot Topic: Using Alexa in Healthcare

Alexa in healthcareOver the last several years, Amazon has been wading out of the e-commerce realm and into other areas, including groceries, web services, and healthcare. Most recently, the company announced that its Alexa artificial-intelligence assistant is HIPAA-compliant.

What does this announcement mean for healthcare consumers? Are we ready for Alexa in healthcare? How will Amazon ensure patient privacy? Let’s examine this issue in this week’s “Hot Topic” blog.

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Meet the Dimensional Insight Team: Suzie Xu

Suzie XuDimensional Insight has offices all around the globe. And while each has its own unique culture, there are also bonds that tie us together as a company. On our blog, we talk a lot about company culture, as we believe that our culture is the core of our organization and the values that we instill in our team is what bonds us together.

Today we introduce you to Suzie Xu, General Manager of Dimensional Insight China. Suzie talks flexibility and the role that company culture plays in her team’s performance.

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Critical Criteria in Evaluating Healthcare Analytics Vendors

Analytics vendorsAccording to an Ernst & Young survey, more than 90% of healthcare executives were planning to undertake at least one technical adoption project in 2018, with the majority of initiatives directly related to making better use of data. As a result, providers will be exposed to a number of different sales strategies — and they will need to develop the business savvy to choose vendor partnerships that will lead to the best possible outcome for their organization.

Choosing a healthcare analytics tool is a major decision with long-term implications for the success of any provider group. Every health IT selection process must be considered as one part of an overall business strategy that combines input from clinical, financial, executive, and administrative stakeholders. What are the factors that providers need to consider as they evaluate software vendors? Let’s take a look.

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Paying For Premium Wines And A Quality Experience

Premium Wine ShoppingThis year, consumers want to enjoy a nice glass of wine — and they’re willing to pay up for it.

The “Fine and Premium” wine category, defined as wine priced at more than $10 a bottle, has grown approximately 8% a year since 2012.

Premium wines are on the rise because of the experience they provide. Drinkers spent $17 billion on premium wines in 2017, and that number is expected to continue to grow.

Silicon Valley Bank predicts this segment of the industry will grow between 4% and 8% in 2019. This trajectory is expected to continue, with the segment reaching around $25 billion by 2022, according to Consulting.us. Let’s take a look at the premium wine trend and how wine suppliers can break into the market. (more…)