Anyone who’s followed this blog for a while will know that I’m a disciple of Peter Wylie, a pioneer in predictive modeling for fundraising. So I’ve been waiting for the latest issue of CASE Currents magazine to come in the door, knowing that it features an interview with him.
Well, turns out it’s online – for the next couple of weeks, anyway. CASE’s Diane Webber-Thrush sits down with Peter for a piece called Adjusting Your Gaze.
Peter is always working on something new, often in collaboration with John Sammis of Data Description, publisher of DataDesk. But his message is consistent: Institutions of higher learning are sitting on huge piles of data that they could leverage for fundraising, and too many institutions just aren’t doing it.
Part of his consistent message is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. In his books and presentations he resists the pull to make data mining sound exotic or difficult for regular folk to understand. Unlike a lot of us, he doesn’t talk much about multiple regression.
Of course, he could if he wanted to. I myself didn’t know a thing about regression until he and John Sammis introduced me to it. But I guess he’s thinking of all the fundraisers (non-data geeks for the most part) that he might leave in the dust.
A consistent message, a simple method, with proven results. No wonder there is so much interest in the field. And yet …
And yet: Why do I get the feeling that there are a heck of a lot more people “interested” and not so many people “doing”? Is the allure surrounding the terms ‘data mining’ and ‘predictive modeling’ really doing the field any favours?
Peter Wylie tells CASE Currents that the education sector is only just beginning to realize the full potential of its own data. Keep in mind, he’s been working in this field since 1997.
Pioneer, yes. AND a very patient and optimistic guy.