e-AIR Newsletter August 2016

Convening to Build IR Capacity

EDUCATION%20ECOSYSTEM%20ART.jpgBy Bill Schneider, Associate Vice President for Research and Performance Management, NCCCS, and Gina Johnson, Strategy Director for IR Capacity Initiatives, AIR

With increased demand for data and information, and stagnant or reduced resources for community colleges, how can IR and IE professionals not only survive, but thrive and collaborate to expand the capacity to provide data and information for decision making? On August 2, 2016, a working group led by the North Carolina Community College System held the Excellence in Research and Analytics Summit at the SAS Executive Briefing Center in Cary, North Carolina, to tackle this and other difficult questions.

More than 50 individuals representing North Carolina community colleges gathered with experts in research and analytics from a variety of organizations and companies to move toward the working group’s stated purpose to “promote, support, and build the capacity for research and analytics with the North Carolina community colleges in order to facilitate institutional effectiveness with a focus on student success.” MORE
Contemplating Greatness
By Glenn W. James
2016-2017 AIR President
A great professional association connects members with content, methods, avenues, and delivery systems through which they gain essential skills, knowledge, and experience.

Great associations also facilitate the connection, interaction, and collaboration of members to learn from one another.

What makes a great Executive Director? Is it outstanding management of such a multifaceted organization? Is it knowledgeable leadership and guidance about taking purposeful steps to achieve important goals?

As you are aware, AIR is searching for an Executive Director who will collaborate with members, association leaders, and staff, in propelling the Association to new heights of synergism and service to members.

The Board of Directors seeks your perspective on what qualities and attributes are important in an Executive Director for our Association.

I invite you to share your thoughts and ideas with me or any Board member, in our collective commitment to propel AIR to greater heights.

The Board will meet in Indianapolis later this month to address these and other issues and tasks.

The Board and the Executive Director Search Committee look forward to working with AGB Search, the firm selected to conduct the search for the next AIR Executive Director.

The pulse of higher education institutions is increasing as we step up with renewed energy to face an exciting new academic year. I hope that yours gets off to a great start! MORE
Who's on the Move?
New titles. New promotions. New institutions. Friends and colleagues on the move.
The American Freshman: Fifty-Year Trends 1966-2015
The Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA released a monograph highlighting national trends from 50 years of data on more than 15 million incoming first-year college students from the CIRP Freshman Survey. MORE.
Thanks to AIR Members
Our members are not only incredibly helpful, they are a pleasure to work with. Here are some special thanks to those who have gone beyond the call of duty for our Association.
Developing Dashboards and Metrics
Dear Dale: We have been tasked with setting up a dashboard for our provost. What is the best way to develop one and what metrics should we include?

Dashboards are important tools for all levels of institutional leadership, and proper planning at the beginning of a dashboard project can save time (and headaches) during the design and implementation phase.

I recommend a detailed discussion of the business questions your provost wants answered as the first step in your dashboard development. During this discussion, it is critical to identify and define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will answer those questions. MORE

This month’s question is answered by Dale Amburgey, Assistant Director, Institutional Research, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Data Bite
In which division is your Office of IR primarily located? We find that 77% of public or private, not-for-profit institutions are located within the Provost/Chief Academic Officer division (51%) or in the President/CEO division (26%). The remaining 21% of institutions are located in a wide range of divisions. MORE

Develop Dashboard Skills with the 2016 Digital Pass

Interested in developing your Dashboard skills? Take a look at these recorded sessions featured in the 2016 Forum Digital Pass.

Excel Dashboards and Data Visualization - Covers how the visualization process affects data and its perception, the main benefits of data visualization to IR offices, and overall effectiveness in data management and reporting. This session includes a step-by-step demonstration on creating Excel dashboards. Presenters: Ozlem Kacira, Pima Community College; David Purkiss, Pima Community College

Using Tableau Mapping Features to Build a Variety of Interactive Dashboards - Demonstrates quick and easy creation of a basic map of institutional data, fields used to map coordinates, ways to display mapped information, correction of non-standard or unrecognized geographic names, coloring methods, creation of time-lapse maps, and other unique variations to facilitate the creation of a more complete result. Presenters: Mark Leany, Utah Valley University; Tim Stanley, Utah Valley University

Next Steps in Data Visualization: How Online Dashboards and Factbooks Change Interaction with Data Users - Explores the next phase of online dashboards and factbooks for sharing data with institutional stakeholders. Presenters reveal their data visualization sharing system and reflect on how it has changed the interactions between their office and data users. Presenters: Mark Leany and Robert Loveridge, Utah Valley University; Marin Clarkberg and Marne Einarson, Cornell University; and Annette Royal and Jessica Shedd, University of Texas System

Collaboration and Consultancy at VCU: A Role for IR
Kathleen Shaw is Vice Provost for Planning and Decision Support (OPDS), and Valerie Holton is Director of Community-Engaged Research in the Division of Community Engagement (DCE), both at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). They spoke with eAIR about the consulting role of institutional research, partnership in support of the university’s mission, and how collaboration allows for greater capacity.

eAIR: The VCU Office of Planning and Decision Support and the Division of Community Engagement have developed a strong relationship in support of the university’s mission. How did this strategic partnership evolve?

Valerie: Part of what drew me to VCU is our commitment to working collaboratively across the institution and our communities. DCE is the central office that leads the university in building infrastructure to support mutually beneficial community academic partnerships. When I started, a part of my job was to get a handle on the scope of community-university interactions. MORE
DateDiff Function in Microsoft Access
By Shawn LaRoche, Senior Research Analyst, Mount Wachusett Community College
ExcelIcon.png Purpose of the DateDiff Function
Many ways exist to determine the difference between two points in time in various software packages. In IR, we most commonly use a difference in time function to determine age. This can be accomplished in Microsoft Excel and many offices are likely to have a script or program to determine age. But there may be occasions where determining age, or some other measure of the difference in two points in time, in a repeatable way is needed. MORE
Bucknell Dashboards: Sankey Diagrams
By Kevork Horissian, Assistant Provost for Institutional Research & Assessment, Bucknell University

In the past couple of years, our team has been exploring approaches to display flows from one group to another. We researched many options, but decided that Sankey diagrams may be the best approach for our goals.

They are visually appealing, easy to use, and provide concise information using complex data. Two dashboards are shared below to demonstrate how we used Sankey diagrams to display flows. MORE
Good Reads for the Higher Ed Professional
Announcements for conferences, meetings, institutes, symposiums, and other events of interest. See the LISTINGS.
Keeping AIR Members Informed
AIR welcomes brief announcements of interest to the IR and assessment communities, such as the release of a report, funding opportunities or a request for applications. Send your announcement to eAIR@airweb.org and include a link to your website as well as a contact name and email address. Announcements
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