Jason Wang head shot

Spotlight on Strategy with Dr. Jason Wang

At the IEHE, we are always excited to have the opportunity to highlight the incredible work being done by our colleagues. As part of the launch of Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities: From Understanding to Implementation, edited by our own Kristina Powers, we’re bringing you a series of profiles of the higher education professionals who share their knowledge and expertise in the book.

Head shot of Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities author Dr. Jason Wang.

Dr. Jason Wang serves as a Decision Support Analyst at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He co-wrote Data Strategy Versus an Information Technology Planning (Chapter 4) with Sandra Kinney which focuses on the drastic differences between a data strategy and an IT plan—and advocates that both are crucial.

Key Chapter Takeaways

Jason notes that it’s understandable that the line between a data strategy and an IT plan can be blurred so easily. They exist within the same data environment, and depend on each other to ensure progress towards the organization’s data goals. He says the biggest takeaway from his chapter is their interdependence – understanding the role each plays, and how that fits into the bigger picture of the  organization.

Dr. Jason Wang On the Process of Writing

Jason indicates that he enjoys brainstorming and ideation process, but often struggles with putting pen to paper. He finds it helpful to put himself in settings where he has no choice but to write, like a coffee shop or library. While he describes his first drafts as “extra rough,” he notes that:

. . . Every now and again, I do happen upon the simple pleasure of finding the word that just feels right, like Amelie dipping her hand into sacks of grains.”

An Excerpt from Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities:

Excerpt from Chapter 4 of Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities: Data strategy is often confused with IT planning; however, the two are very different in concept and execution. Knowing the difference between a data strategy and IT plan is crucial, since the two must work in conjunction with one another for successful implementation within an organization. While there are some shared components between the two, data strategy is long-term and goal oriented with a focus on a high-level course of action, while IT planning is operational and tactical in nature, with a focus on tools, people, platforms, development, budget, and approach.

Want to read more? Order your copy of Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities: From Understanding to Implementation now! You can also read more about the chapter authors and an extended excerpt from the book.

Do you ever find yourself taking joys in small aspects of writing? Can you remember a moment of simple pleasure in the process, as Jason says, “like Amelie dipping her hand into sacks of grains?” Tell us about it in the comments below.

The Institute for Effectiveness in Higher Education (IEHE) innovates and improves higher education standards through our strategic research, publicly available resources, and partnerships with colleges and universities. We provide extensive expertise on data strategy, IPEDS, institutional research and student success to drive institutional effectiveness.