Building off the work of a 2016 Data+ team, Yu Chen (Economics), Peter Hase (Statistics), and Ziwei Zhao (Mathematics), spent ten weeks working closely with analytical leadership at Duke’s Office of University Development. The project goal was to identify distinguishing characteristics of major alumni donors and to model their lifetime giving behavior.
Project Results: Working with a large data set of anonymized alumni donors, the team visualized the distinction between minor and major alumni donors in a number of ways, did an in-depth evaluation of the Development office’s current donor affinity metric, and clustered donors into groups by giving behavior.
Sponsored by Alumni Affairs and Development at Duke.
Faculty Leads: Robert Calderbank, Paul Bendich
- Stephen Bayer
- Natalie Spring
- Ian Conlon
Project Manager: Sheng Jiang
“Very impressed. Smart kids, driven. Asked some really great questions and showed keen interest in the work and potential application. Beyond the intangible benefit of connecting more with the student experience and academic mission of the university, we benefited from having new eyes on our data, fresh questions and insights, and, ultimately, a starting point for future analysis.” — Ian Conlon, Associate Director, Prospect Management and Analytics, Duke Office of Prospect Research, Management and Analytics