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Data with purpose: Transforming your institution through data

Data with Purpose: Transforming Your Institution Through Data

Developing effective data analytics strategiesBy: UB Custom Publishing | Issue: October, 2019 | Web Seminar Digest September 26, 2019 | Link to Article [1]

The right data analytics strategy can power your institution’s digital transformation. In this webcast, experts from Ovum and Ellucian outlined key considerations for developing data analytics strategies that can transform an institution. Topics included the value of using data to connect all lines of business, how to assess an institution’s “data-centricity” readiness, and why data management is central to improving the student experience.


  • Jacob Chandler, Senior Product Manager, Ellucian
  • Joyce Kim, Analyst, Ovum

Jacob Chandler: Analytics is about the examination of data. It’s a way to understand how our constituents are interacting with the campus, whether they’re students, prospective students, former students, faculty or staff. “Data centricity” in higher education becomes the foundation for how we begin to aggregate information from multiple sources across our campus and leverage that to impact the way we interact with those constituents and the way they interact with us.

We must establish data management and governance practices to ensure that we have high-quality data and that the right people have access to the data at the right time to help drive their decisions. To have truly effective analytics, we must manage the integration across the systems, so that we’re able to surface that data and combine it and so that we can glean insights from these multiple systems.

Joyce Kim: An important trend is a move toward student centricity, which is a personalized, 360-degree view of a student that can result only from connected data. This kind of comprehensive view is important because it drives a better campus experience for students. They can take advantage of the physical and digital resources of an institution.

This is also important because students are looking for their edtech experience to match their consumer technology experience. They may be looking for targeted social media interactions or engagement with university staff to be based on data such as their intended major or career interests. They may be looking for predictive recommendations for courses they’re interested in taking. In other words, today’s students want to feel known and valued by their institutions. But this goal is a lot easier said than done.

“Before an institution can create a data-led campus strategy, it’s imperative that the institution establish data management and governance practices and figure out integration strategies.” There are so many systems and people that touch a student, resulting in a lot of data. They include the student information system, the customer relationship management system, advisor and residence systems, social data, the learning management system, video platforms, and internet of things technology. Adding to this challenge is the variety of data formats. And all the different systems may be in different departments and may be siloed from each other. As a result, the view of the student we get could be outdated or inaccurate. So we’re looking for a way to connect and exchange data in order to have a more connected institutional environment.

Jacob Chandler: The spirit of the 360-degree view is where we started with our Ethos platform. We wanted to bring together diverse systems so that we could surface data and provide insightful analytics to help institutions make the best decisions.

Joyce Kim: Ovum’s “ICT Enterprise Insights” survey found that while all industries are in the early stages of achieving digital transformation, higher ed actually lags a bit behind the overall industry average in terms of digital maturity. Only 9.4% of institutions believe they are using data effectively across the enterprise. Our goal is to help raise this level for higher ed. Before an institution can create a data-led campus strategy, it’s imperative that the institution establish data management and governance practices and figure out integration strategies.

What’s standing in the way of these ambitions? We divide the barriers into three broad categories:

  • 44% of schools say that financial challenges are their greatest barrier.
  • 33% of schools were hindered by cultural issues.
  • 24% of schools were hindered by technical issues.

Ellucian is working with its customers to help address and overcome some of these barriers.

Jacob Chandler: You have to identify where you want to start, and you have to know how you want to implement and mature data governance. We’d like to connect with you. We have a growing community of analytics customers and subject matter experts at Ellucian. We are passionate about this topic; we are engaged with the community; and we want to help institutions unlock their data.

Topics: IT and AV

Adobe Digital Insights: Top 3 consumer trends shaping e-Signatures and how we will work in 2021

Link to the article

Adobe Digital Insights: Top 3 consumer trends shaping e-Signatures and how we will work in 2021

Adobe Document Cloud team, January 26, 2021

Consumer e-signing a document on his phone

  • The pandemic has changed everyone’s lives. At Adobe, we saw this in many forms, as working from home and video conferencing became the new norm. For our business, one of the most pronounced changes has been the acceleration of e-signatures, part of our Document Cloud offering.
  • It’s in that business that we saw big shifts last year in everyone’s desires to be even more productive using digital documents and e-signatures, especially as most of us continue to shelter-in-place and work remotely. 2020 turbocharged the paper-to-digital transition, especially among younger people who e-signed for the first time, and there’s no going back in the year ahead.
  • The Adobe Digital Insights team surveyed 4,000 consumers worldwide about how they used e-signatures as they aimed to go contact-free in all aspects of their lives during COVID. We also pulled 2020 usage data from Adobe Sign, which makes signing and sending documents for e-signature easier. The key takeaways: contact-free signatures are having a big moment, young people are e-signing in droves, and businesses turned from paper-based to digital in record time. Let’s dig in.

E-signatures go mainstream

  • The pandemic exposed an inconvenient truth: juggling paper documents is cumbersome and antiquated. As a result, e-signatures and digital document use grew exponentially last year. Overall, 60 percent of consumers signed more digital documents in the past six months than the previous six, and Adobe Sign witnessed triple-digit year-over-year growth in users each month from June through September 2020.

Year-over-year Adobe Sign user growth in the US

  • The shift from paper to digital has been happening since PDF was introduced — yet a surprising number of American consumers hadn’t e-signed a document before 2020. More than a quarter (27 percent) of Americans electronically signed a document for the first time last year. These include critical documents across different industries such as business contracts, healthcare registration forms, loan agreements, employment contracts, and parental consent forms.
  • And there’s more to the story. The pandemic has pushed more than a third (38 percent) of Americans to turn to the cloud. The ability to store, manage and act on documents in the cloud makes it simpler to be productive in this new world. This could mean more safely and efficiently checking in for a doctor appointment, managing tax returns remotely with CPAs, or registering for classes as schools go virtual.

Young consumers are key to growth

  • In 2020, young consumers drove a lot of the growth in digital documents and e-signatures. Nearly half of Gen Z (53 percent) said that 2020 was the first time they signed a document electronically, compared to only 30 percent of Baby Boomers. As they enter adulthood, an overwhelming majority (79 percent) of Gen Z didn’t know e-signatures even existed and never had a chance to sign documents digitally before last year.
  • About half of Gen Z and millennials increased their use of digital documents last year, compared to less than a third of Baby Boomers. A significant majority (73 percent) of these younger consumers relied more on smart devices to sign documents compared to just over a quarter of Baby Boomers. Over a majority of Gen Z and Baby Boomers still prefer the use of desktop or laptop computers to e-sign.

Generational breakdown - Was 2020 the first time you signed a document electronically?

Triple-digit growth: Key industries embrace the future of work

  • The pandemic accelerated the digital transformation in government, financial services and education, as customers, citizens and students looked for more efficient ways to get things done.
  • Traditionally, schools have relied heavily on paper, but the pandemic proved to be a forcing function to use digital documents and e-signatures for critical tasks like school operations. This includes standard workflows for grants and donations, student services, admissions, financial aid, class registrations benefits, payroll and IT. As a result, there was a sharp rise in e-signatures in the education sector between August and September (250 percent year over year). Similarly, there was a triple digit rise in e-signatures in the financial services sector in May (over 200 percent year over year).

Adobe Sign industry usage in the US (Edu, FSI, Gov)

  • Younger consumers were also a driving force behind the rise in e-signatures in the financial services industry. 80 percent of Gen Z and Millennials worldwide signed financial documents, such as opening a bank account, loan agreement, investment, wealth management, mortgage agreements in the past year.
  • More than 63 percent of Americans want government agencies like the DMV and immigration to provide more e-signature support for critical documents. While the increased use of Adobe Sign in government wasn’t as dramatic a spike as in financial services, agencies saw a gradual increase during the Spring.

The path forward

  • Once the pandemic fades into history, we believe that many of the digital changes it introduced and accelerated will remain. We project that an overwhelming majority (76 percent) of consumers worldwide will continue to e-sign documents post pandemic.
  • Yet there are still opportunities to innovate how consumers manage and sign digital documents. More than 63 percent of Americans now believe that companies lacking e-signature options are behind in the times. And, globally, fewer than 47 percent of survey respondents believe that e-signature technology is advanced today.
  • As we get closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, consumers worldwide likely won’t go back to manual ways of managing and signing documents. E-signatures have become the standard and there’s now a big expectation that this technology is here to stay.

Recommended Further Reading


California Department of Technology Streamlines Procurement with Adobe Sign

  • California is known for many things: sunny beaches, towering redwoods, and the glamour of Hollywood. But for many people, California



Adobe Document Cloud Debuts Education Resource Hub

  • As you can imagine, demand for Adobe’s Document Cloud tools from educators, students, parents, and school administrators has grown exponentially



Wipro Accelerates the Paperless Enterprise with Adobe Sign

  • Every company has two main goals as we navigate the pandemic: Keeping their employees safe while they work remotely and