Karen Herrington has been appointed director of data analytics and visualization in the Division of Information Technology, moving from her previous role in Secure Identity Services to direct the IT data analytics and visualization initiative.

Herrington will promote and facilitate a culture of data-informed decision-making and continuous improvement in the division, identifying metrics to inform strategic and tactical decisions. Her work will focus on developing meaningful standard data visualizations and formulating the policy needed to implement a division-wide approach to producing and collecting the data needed to support them.

In her previous role as director of identity strategy and administration in Secure Identity Services, Herrington led the design and delivery of identity and access solutions and planning for the university, creating and supporting new and existing policies to meet Virginia Tech's needs.

Speaking about the opportunity ahead, Herrington noted, “Data's true value can be realized when the right business questions are asked and when the insights gained are effectively presented to decision-makers. I look forward to leveraging my years of IT experience and, as a native Mississippian, my natural propensity as a storyteller, to enable IT leaders to make data-informed strategic, operational, and service portfolio decisions.”

Herrington’s work will be supported on a part-time basis by Philip Kobezak, associate director of university information security initiatives, and Carl Harris, chief technology architect. The team has begun their work with a one-year exploratory period, after which IT leadership will consider the team’s findings, examining the outcomes and effectiveness of the proposed approaches and determining next steps.

“There are opportunities across the Division of IT to use data more effectively to guide our investments and improve services,” stated Scott Midkiff, vice president for Information Technology and CIO. “The work of Karen and the team has the potential to benefit both the Division of IT and the university as a whole.”

Karen Herrington holds both an M.S. and a B.A. in computer science from Mississippi State University and has worked in the information technology field for over 30 years; 20 of those years have taken place within the Virginia Tech community.

Written by Damien Patrick Williams