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Digitally Transforming Your Data and Presence

As remote and hybrid work schedules have given us new structures and transformed our previous practices, ask yourselves how your remote and hybrid experiences have impacted your students, clients, sponsors, and others who you serve. While the 2020s have led us to pause, adjust, and adapt to new practices; we find ourselves wondering how different something looks when we compare it to the days before the pandemic. (For example, the student intake process formerly with paper forms and in-person meetings is now Zoom meetings and screen shares.  Large meetings involved reserving and planning for a large meeting based on space availability to now syncing up bCals for a Zoom meeting. Hosting a special event within a workday to celebrate the staff now involves reserving a whole day to make an event where everyone is present).

Operating with this mindset has become a norm and is what we expect of each other. As Berkeley employees perform their job responsibilities, a clientele-centered approach stems from our departments’ brand and mission. The experiences students and clients remember are reflected by how well we show good service to match our values. Like many of us, when we interact with retailers, online e-commerce, hospitality industries, banks, financial services, and much more - we expect a certain degree of customer service when interacting with a vendor. In the same way, our clientele expects that of us, and it is up to us to do so creatively.

This week’s edition of Wisdom Café Wednesday invites you to look introspectively at your department and organization’s relationship with those you serve. As we use elements of technology in our interactions with vendors, how might you recognize and enhance technology for your services? In 2020 we responded quickly to the need of being remote, in 2021 we blended past practices with new technologies (i.e. video conferencing, data tracking systems, app check-ins, etc). Now have a chance to build our strategic plans and visions with technology in mind. It is reasonable to assume that there may be some elements of technology that will benefit us now and can be part of our strategies moving forward.

UC Berkeley IT provides its staff, faculty, academic personnel, and students with a software catalog, many of which are available via single sign-on. In addition, many offices have software and technological interactions that meet their working needs and services. Wisdom Café Wednesday invites you to look at the software in the catalogs and find the one that you might be able to adapt. With any new software, think about how you would use it for meeting the needs of your students, clients, sponsors, and guests. 

Many of the outlined software can be overwhelming or not be what you need. UC Berkeley employees across campus utilize Google Groups and employee listservs to connect for advice, best practices, or thought partners. These networks can also be useful in assessing new or upcoming software that we want to test, inquire about, or integrate.    

Finally, we also can learn about new software by seeing previews from vendors through email, LinkedIn, and conferences & conventions. Exhibitors develop software based on current trends and adapt them based on client needs. As you think about strategic planning, adapting to future practices, and changing needs, please include new software as an operational budget in these plans. The use of software (i.e. subscriptions, purchases, and tiers) should also be included in the budget package as part of a strategic plan as best as possible.

Note: When considering adopting new software for your area, talk to your colleagues, supervisors, and a random clientele sample. Be sure to outline some goals and how the short-term use will have its benefits, but long-term use will build a transformative experience.  UC Berkeley IT can also support you in getting these systems started, while also helping account for appropriate cyber security measures with data touch points.
Beyond thinking about what technologies are available to help facilitate core business, new technologies in the past 3 years have steered organizations in a more creative direction based on ideas, practice, and projections. This practice works in colleges, education organizations, non-profits, start-ups, and large public companies. Using data at the center of digital transformation (i.e. student data, client data, sponsor and research data, teaching metrics, etc), we have a chance to use it in making predictions and decisions for where we want to go.  

The following LinkedIn Learning e-course Accelerating Digital Transformation as Offices Reopen puts technology at the forefront as a success predictor. As many interactions and operations are less centralized, technology can steward us towards redefining how we achieve our mission and objectives. Presented by Laura Merling, Chief Digital and Transformation Officer, she brings 13 years of experience helping companies adopt digital transformations, and employs best practices for organizations to train their workforce with proficiency benchmarks. As a leading university in research, education, public service, and world transformation; UC Berkeley is at the forefront of showing resilience by understanding global trends, continually reinventing itself, and using research to accelerate new possibilities.

Wisdom Café Wednesday invites you to complete this e-course and do the following exercise: 
  1. Remember when you were first a college student, what technology was the newest and most cutting-edge at the time? 
  2. When you began your most recent position at UC Berkeley, what was the newest technology that amazed you and made you want to explore and use more of it?
This activity can be a good ice breaker at your next team meeting, and lend itself to some discussion of new technologies you adopt to set a new trend or benchmark in your services to your stakeholders.

Wisdom Café Wednesday Featured Technologies on College Campuses

Student Life Cycle Management

This software is a student information system that helps document a student’s journey from enrollment to graduation. It helps tell stories of how students interact and experience the university regarding co-curricular involvement, professional interests, personal passions, academic goals, and concludes with graduation. This cloud-based software is customizable (protecting confidential or privileged information) and helps sync information that likely lives in multiple campus systems, serving as a one-stop shop to capture a student’s full journey.

Health & Wellness Apps

With ongoing needs to support student and employee wellness, the ratio of providers to clients is widely disproportionate. Modern technologies, including but not limited to Timely MD and x2AI provide virtual assistants, automated responses, and programmable resources to respond rapidly to front-line needs that are not at a crisis level. This helps offset the low-level needs and aid, hence allowing care providers to respond to higher-level needs and crises as they come forth.

Leaning into Video Advertising

Campus departments and programs have to be prepared to make sure their marketing is up-to-date, easy to follow, and timely. Going a step beyond updating social media; digital screens and internet channels can combine messaging from multiple departments, vendors, and sponsors in one place to reach a wide/shared audience. Whether we manage these screens internally or outsource them to a media company, imagine high-traffic areas that can share messaging for our stories and widen our reach.

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How to Share Your Insight on Wisdom Cafe 

Discover the benefits of sharing your professional insights on Wisdom Café Wednesdays and how to do it here.
-Reading about and reaching out to featured colleagues.
-Finding supportive communities.
-Using resources to start your own network.
-Signing up for this Wisdom Café Wednesday Newsletter to ensure you get a message that you can use to support your development every week!
Don't have time for everything? Add time on your calendar to use these resources by using this link.

The Wisdom Café Team
PS - Want to see specific content or staff member featured? E-mail us at
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