AIA National - Informed Leadership: Using Data to Drive Decisions (Denver, CO)

Date: 21 June 2013
Time: 7 a.m. - 8 a.m.
Room: Mile High Ballroom 3A, Colorado Convention Center
Location: AIA National Convention, Denver, CO
LUs: 1 learning unit
Register (you must be registered for AIA National to attend)

Legacy systems at NCARB—and around the world—are being rapidly phased out. New systems are ever more connected, more integrated, and more robust to the information technologies that allow for the integration of myriad dimensions of data. New systems provide the ability to track key performance indicators over time, compare measures across demographic lines, and cross-tabulate items of interest against a host of relevant indicators. At NCARB, beyond improvements in legacy systems, new technological offerings—such as the online experience reporting system and online application—offer a future of increased possibilities for analyzing the forces that shape the path to licensure.

Presenters will display a small number of key performance indicators and then demonstrate the value of a robust data warehouse in approaching a given metric. Additionally, one benefit of data visualization is in the exploration of relevant questions: isolated data points or outlying areas on graphs can be quickly identified, isolated, and compared. By virtue of having integrated information systems, all data points can be described in terms with a variety of different dimensions, allowing for in-depth questioning of any points or areas of interest. Best practices for the collection, management, and display of data are crucial for practitioners looking to leverage the data that are available all around them.

"Informed Leadership" is a demonstration of the importance—and power—of using data to add value to the decision-making process. During the past years, NCARB has been in the process of upgrading information systems technology. The reasons for the upgrades have been to provide enhanced business process and customer support, but other elements of this upgrade have established a more robust and integrated record management system. Beyond improving service levels for our stakeholders, the advancements in internal information collection and storage has allowed NCARB to begin exploring questions about the architecture profession. Alongside the NCARB Practice Analysis of Architecture survey, the increased use of data in the development of programs for architectural licensure allow a more detailed look at what establishes the most meaningful foundation to becoming an architect—and how it might be measured.

This course will demonstrate some of the capabilities that NCARB has regarding the analysis of its own data warehouse, including survey information collected from the 2012 Practice Analysis. This demonstration will focus on three subjects: (a) the technology and business planning that can allow for the collection, exploration, and analysis of data; (b) techniques and methods for the analysis and visualization of data, particularly time-series data; and (c) a discussion of specific critical indicators for the profession to allow for informed, data-driven decision making and discussion.

NCARB was founded in 1919, before many states even regulated the practice of architecture. By virtue of administering programs for architectural licensing over a many-decades span, NCARB has a rich data source on the performance of interns, architects, and even supervisors throughout the course of its programs. With the establishment of these new information systems, a definitive source of knowledge for the status of licensure and the architecture profession can finally answer some interesting questions. Leadership often requires taking the first step by yourself, but knowing the tools around you can point you in the right direction.


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Practice Analysis of Architecture
NCARB’s Practice Analysis of Architecture survey, conducted every five to seven years, provides essential insight into the practice of architecture. Findings are significant to the profession and help determine the knowledge and skills necessary to practice architecture independently and protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare.