Virginia Lacefield photo
Virginia Lacefield

January 03, 2018

ITS Division: Enterprise Applications

Service Area: Advanced Analytics

What services do you and your teammates provide to campus?

Institutional Research & Advanced Analytics is a collaborative unit that provides data analytics services to the campus. This is a collaboration between ITS and the Provost's Office. The Advanced Analytics Team does a lot of the development work, like building databases and maintaining technical structures. The Business Data Analysts do reporting for Finance and Human Resources. Institutional Research handles the reporting, and we work with a lot of student-related data. We do a lot of work to help the administration understand factors that influence student success and retention, such as financial aid models. We're working on targeting the right amount of aid to the right students in order to help them succeed. Figuring this out is complicated, but very interesting. We've also done a lot of work with the first year and transfer student survey, which goes out to all first-year students and incoming transfers. We analyze their answers to help improve our prediction model. This year we analyzed "belongingness," asking students if they feel like they belong at UK. 


My work involves a lot of survey research. I'm currently involved with 7 surveys, and I'm a Qualtrics platform administrator. I handle tier 3 issues and I'm a liaison with the Qualtrics company. I also teach Qualtrics workshops on campus. I help create and deploy a lot of important surveys, including the exit survey for all graduating students. I've also been doing continuing research on our technology-enhanced active learning (TEAL) classrooms.  
I'm also involved with the Adobe re-licensing project. As an Enterprise Architect, my role was to collect data on campus regarding how we utilize Adobe software.  

What campus units do you collaborate with?

I work with Facilities Management, the Registrar's Office, and the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) because of their involvement with TEAL classrooms. With my Adobe project I've worked with members of the Deans' IT Group, which includes college and departmental IT staff on campus and in HealthCare. I work with the Center for Research on Violence Against Women because I administer their annual campus safety survey. I collaborate with college administration and data analysts across campus because every college is utilizing survey data in some way.  

What are your workplace values?

I value open collaboration, as well as open communication. I love collaborating and I find a lot of value in people working together organically. There are so many smart, creative people at the University. The more people I collaborate with, the better. 

What is your favorite part of working in ITS and UK?

At ITS, we have the ability to provide tools and data to the people who need them. We make tasks easier, and we help support the mission of the University. IT is everywhere. Research and data are everywhere. I love that I'm able to work with so many parts of the University. My favorite part of working for UK is that everything I do is for the benefit of the people of the Commonwealth. I love being with an organization where the purpose of our work is to educate and contribute. It's not about a financial bottom line, it's about making a positive impact and making our community better.