2015 HighEdWeb Conference Speaker: Randy Brown

speaker-brownRandy Brown is a seasoned veteran to higher education that believes there is always a better way to approach and solve problems. . I’m the Director of Web Services for University Advancement at Michigan State University where I lead a team of front-end and back-end web developers. I’ve been in the IT field for 23 years and I was one of the first in the big ten to lead the charge for online donations. Just this year we were able to process over $2 million dollars online from 5000+ donors. My approach of define the problem before you begin development has allowed me to implement web solutions that hit the mark on expectations.

All inclusive calendar for fundraising and alumni engagement professionals, aka “The Calendar”

We developed a calendar web application which allows our fundraiser and engagement professionals to quickly view event attendance, biographical data and fundraising information about their invited and/or attending constituents on a multitude of devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad, laptop or desktop). Users can easily filter and see information from 3 views (31 day, list or geographical view) which collect data from multiple sources. From a technical stance the approach we took is similar to Microsoft’s latest acquisition; Sunrise calendar. From a user stance we integrated an alert system that would allow fundraisers and engagement professionals to setup criteria which alerts them of those successful data intersections. The tool has been in production for 2 years and we’ve seen it reduce confusion, save money, enhance collaboration, streamline work and change the office culture. In this presentation, I propose delivering a talk that demos the tool, touches on our development strategy, use case scenario, application approach/goals and future direction of the tool.

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