LinkedIn data helps UCSD enhance its alumni relations efforts

January 30, 2015

US institutions are taking a data-driven approach to enhance alumni relations, turning to LinkedIn in particular to help improve engagement. LinkedIn offers colleges and universities the ability to create hubs for alumni outreach, providing institutions with a way to access information about their graduates as well as a means to build stronger relationships with the companies for which alumni work. LinkedIn's tools can also help colleges and universities to learn more about graduate career trajectories, producing valuable insights for recruiting purposes. This new approach has led to significant change for some institutions, including the University of California, San Diego, which used LinkedIn to capture information on 92,000 alumni it had not previously been able to track. The insights gleaned from LinkedIn have also led to structural change within the university. Based on what it learned, UCSD decided to move its career development services office to the alumni relations office. “The old models of alumni relations don’t work,” said UCSD's Associate Vice-Chancellor for Advancement Armin Afsahi. “We have to be a data-driven, intelligence-oriented organization to create the engagement and value." New York Times