CoolData blog

About Me, About this Blog

Kevin_MacDonell_Nov_2013_slight_cropKevin MacDonell is primary author of content on, which has been going since December 2009, and co-author with Peter Wylie of a new book published by CASE called “Score!: Data-Driven Success for Your Advancement Team.”


His real job is Associate Director, Advancement Data & Analysis, in the Office of Advancement, Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a position he moved into following a stint as Acting Director, Advancement Services. Prior to that, he was a Business Intelligence Analyst doing data mining and predictive modeling for many Advancement functions, and enhancing the department’s fundraising and alumni engagement reporting. Other previous positions included working in Annual Fund as an Annual Giving Officer (running a Phonathon program for two years), as a prospect researcher (for five years at St. Francis Xavier University), and as an editor and journalist for a variety of magazines and other media organizations.


For nearly a decade he has been promoting the use of data mining and predictive modelling for advancement of higher education institutions both in the workplace and through presenting at conferences. This blog collects some of the interesting things he’s learned along the way, and occasionally features guest posts by others who do similar work.


“I believe working with data has a lot more to do with attitude and interest than skills or tools. The desire to contribute to decision-making at our institutions in concrete, data-driven and cool ways is a prime motivator for learning.”




Kevin MacDonell,


P.S. — Feel free to email me, but unfortunately I may not be able to respond to requests for detailed help. I also do not write reviews of software or books. I do not do link exchanges nor do I sell ads. I do not accept submissions of guest posts that are not directly related to the subject of this blog, and no, I probably won’t post your infographic. If in doubt, please do email me, but I cannot guarantee a speedy response, or any response.



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