Apra Talks 2020

Passionate advancement professionals are always ready to share their thoughts on “hot” topics in the industry. Be ready for an interactive and informative discussion with industry thought leaders as they share their perspectives on the rapid evolution of technology in our sector. Part conversation, part debate, this session will help us think critically about the tools that are shaping our work. With new tools and technologies emerging at a record pace, are we doing enough to critically evaluate the tools we use? Are they improving our work, or are they just the next shiny objects? Join us for a spirited discussion around data quality, verification, the ethics of Artificial Intelligence, and more.

Please consider joining us and click here for more information.

Apra Prospect Development Virtual Experience

Apra #PDVE2020 is finally here! Are you ready to join us for four days of action-packed programming and inspiring content?

Thanks to all the chapters for providing extra scholarships to allow their chapter members to attend. Thanks also to everyone who registered and to our sponsors for your support of Apra! For those of you who can’t attend, please follow along here and on Twitter using #PDVE2020 to get some live event updates!

And, of course, many thanks to all of our amazing speakers and volunteers who support the Apra community!

U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey: Datasets, Resources, and Use Cases

Please consider joining us on DRIVE/ 2020 Day 2 (Friday, May 29, 2020) for the following session on using the new U.S. Census Bureau’s APIs to access the latest ACS data sets:

The U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey: Datasets, Resources, and Use Cases

Discover how free statistics and data tools from the U.S. Census Bureau are foundational for your institution’s next data-driven decision. This session provides an overview and demonstration of the American Community Survey (ACS), the nation’s most current, reliable, and accessible data source for local statistics. You can use the ACS to understand the demographics of the population or learn more about neighborhoods where alumni live. View a demonstration on tools that can be used to access ACS data and a current ACS data user discusses how ACS data helps them make data-driven decisions.

Rodger Devine, Associate Dean of External Affairs for Strategy and Innovation, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; Amanda Klimek, Survey Statistician, ACSO Outreach and Education Branch, U.S. Census Bureau; Michael Pawlus, Data Scientist, The Ohio State University

DRIVE/Cast 2020


Data— empowering nonprofits to harness the power of data to achieve
Results— producing outcomes while ensuring data security and privacy through
Intelligence— gaining insight to make better business decisions and delivering
Value— to those in the data field and leaders using data via
Education— offered year-round with evolving curriculum and innovative learning experiences

Offered for the first time, DRIVE/Cast Livestream gives you the chance to experience all the great data and analytics content in the comfort of your own office or home. With dynamic key sessions, informative breakouts, and an interactive chat platform, this virtual program is your opportunity to be in the fast-lane to explore all things data.

Read more

Hands-On Deep Learning with R

Why Deep Learning with R?
Deep learning enables efficient and accurate learning from data. Developers working with R will be able to put their knowledge to work with this practical guide to deep learning. The book provides a hands-on approach to implementation and associated methodologies that will have you up-and-running, and productive in no time. You will explore and implement deep learning to solve various real-world problems using modern R libraries such as TensorFlow, MXNet, H2O, and Deepnet.

Who this book is for?

This book is for data scientists, machine learning engineers, and deep learning developers who are familiar with machine learning and are looking to enhance their knowledge of deep learning using practical examples. Anyone interested in increasing the efficiency of their machine learning applications and exploring various options in R will also find this book useful. Basic knowledge of machine learning techniques and working knowledge of the R programming language is expected.

What you will learn:

Design a feedforward neural network to see how the activation function computes an output
Create an image recognition model using convolutional neural networks (CNNs)
Prepare data, decide hidden layers and neurons and train your model with the backpropagation algorithm
Apply text cleaning techniques to remove uninformative text using NLP
Build, train, and evaluate a GAN model for face generation
Understand the concept and implementation of reinforcement learning in R

Data Storytelling: Bring data to life and make it accessible for any audience

Rodger Devine, associate dean of external affairs for strategy and innovation at the University of Southern California and vice chair of the 2020 DRIVE/ conference, agrees. The end goal of any data analysis is to take action, he explains. Storytelling is important because it provides the “bridge between cutting-edge data science and analysis and making that information understandable and actionable for everyone,” he says. “You could have a really sophisticated analysis, but if it just sits on the shelf because no one is able to read it or understand it and therefore take action on it, it’s of limited value to your institution.”

In institutional advancement, Devine sees data as a way of supporting new strategies or approaches to old and familiar challenges. “Looking at the data, people will see emerging trends or new markets to tap into. They might also come up with a new campaign or initiative to drive results and improve outcomes,” he says. “The data offers an objective lens that, combined with other signals and contextual information, can logically inform and make a compelling case to pursue a new opportunity.”

Click here to access the full Case Currents Magazine November – December 2019 article.

Looking forward to connecting with you at DRIVE/ on March 23-25, 2020!


DRIVE/ 2019!




Looking forward to connecting at DRIVE/ in March 2019!

Such a great opportunity to come together with other thought leaders and reflect on the future of data analytics.

Register by February 8, 2019 for an early bird discount!

Give Back, Move Forward

During this season of giving, my co-author Ashutosh and I are pleased to share a free, online copy of our book Data Science for Fundraising: Build Data-Driven Solutions Using R to connect with other lifelong learners and build communities of expertise, insights and solutions across higher education and beyond.

Please share your data science success stories via LinkedIn or Twitter at @xdanalysis and @n_ashutosh.

Enjoy and stay tuned for more updates! 

Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals 2019

Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals
March 20 – 22, 2019

Omni Royal Orleans

New Orleans, La., United States

Designed for high-level advancement services professionals, this program will guide you in moving your operation to the next level of service within advancement. You’ll gain information needed to enhance your skills and talents, develop a top-notch team and produce the results that will ensure your importance at the table of university advancement. This conference is suggested for advancement professionals with senior-level responsibility. Program starts at NOON on Wednesday and ends at NOON on Friday.

Who Should Attend

  • Assistant vice presidents, executive directors and directors of annual giving interested in learning, discussing and sharing best practices
  • Chief development officers or lead advancement professionals looking to strengthen their knowledge of annual giving
  • Senior development officers interested in learning more about best practices and cutting-edge ideas in the field of annual giving

Benefits of Attending

  • Network with thought leaders in the field.
  • Gain insights into best practices that can be implemented into your own program.
  • Attain new data and information regarding performance benchmarks, statistical trends and program standards.
  • Expand your knowledge base by learning from a diverse group of faculty members.
  • View your program through a different lens; distance can add perspective.

Click below for more details and please consider joining us:

Institute for Senior Annual Giving Professionals, CASE Faculty