Shannon LaCount head shot

Spotlight on Strategy with Dr. Shannon LaCount

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. Shannon LaCount.

Dr. Shannon LaCount serves as Vice President of Campus Strategy at Campus Labs. She co-wrote Chapter 7: Anticipating Challenges and Offering Possible Solutions with Michael Weisman. In their chapter, they note that creating a data strategy will be challenging for most institutions because they have not completed the process before. Chapter 7 addresses the issues that may be preventing the institution from naturally moving forward.

At Campus Labs, Shannon and her colleagues encounter and help address client’s issues with data every day. Their research for the chapter reassured them that the issues they see most often are common and happening on many other campuses. The stories are different, but similar problem patterns emerged which they share in their chapter

Key Chapter Takeaways

If you can only retain one thing from the chapter, Shannon says, remember this:

Share data with those who will benefit from using it! We want the institution to identify needed improvements based on reliable data, but if you don’t share it, people can’t use it

Dr. Shannon LaCount On the Process of Writing

Shannon loves writing and typically writes in her head while walking in the woods with her dogs. Once home, she drops all her thoughts into her keyboard.

An Excerpt from Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities:

Excerpt from Chapter 7 of Data Strategy in Colleges and Universities: Say the term data strategy to anyone, and it will likely conjure visions of numbers, spreadsheets, and rows of ones and zeros. It will summon up images of graphs, charts, and tables but no sense of the human effort required to create them. Have a discussion with someone actively working on a data strategy for their campus, though, and their list of challenges will likely include both technical and non-technical elements such as relationship building, personnel, and accountability.

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 write in your head before getting your thoughts on paper? Where do you find inspiration for your professional writing? Tell us about it in the comments below.