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By the year 2000 it was not uncommon to hear the terms data mining and predictive modeling bandied about in higher education advancement. Even though most of them would struggle if asked to give an explanation of these terms, it was becoming clear that a new era of data-driven decision-making was dawning for people who raise money for secondary schools, colleges and universities. Fast forward to 2008. Things have progressed quite a bit. Now it's common for many advancement professionals to have a good conceptual grasp of data mining and how they can use it both for the annual fund and major giving. There is at least one listserv devoted solely to fundraisers interested in the concept.
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