What can we learn from Harvard?

I read this article recently on Inside Higher Ed and immediately wanted to share it for a couple of reasons - https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/08/08/harvard-teams-corporate-partner-offer-online-business-analytics-program


First, it illustrates one of the principles that NRM tries to convey to small college admissions offices. That is, stick to your core competencies. Here is the first paragraph of the article:

"If any American university might be positioned to begin a new online program all by itself, Harvard University -- with its world-famous brand, many-billion-dollar endowment and founding relationship with the online course provider edX -- might be it. But the university announced Monday that three of its schools would create a new business analytics certificate program with 2U, the online program management company."

Harvard saw the benefit in putting “online program management” in the hands of an outside company that specializes in the online aspect of the educational process. How often we see admissions offices using their staff to do “marketing” that could be better served by marketing professionals. Sure they are limited by their budget, but what about the opportunity costs associated with those staff members spending their time, often producing less than professional quality marketing and communications (What do you expect? It’s not what they were hired to do!), rather than spending their time engaging with prospective students and improving the recruitment process in ways that only admissions staff can.


The second point inferred from the introductory paragraph of this article is the future importance of business analytics. Harvard apparently considers there to be demand for a business analytics certificate program, recognizing that the use of business analytics is going to be increasing in value to organizations.

It’s usually nice to have a position you’re taking supported by Harvard’s judgment as well. I think that the introduction of our new PRO-Analytics business intelligence platform is going to provide a lot of value to small colleges in a number of applications. I will say that we already had that sense based on the reception it received at the recent National Small College Enrollment Conference. As we like to emphasize, those that choose not to apply analytics to the vast data sources to help with decision making now available have two choices: They can either be lucky, or they can be wrong.