Top Three eAIR Articles of 2015

Gina Johnson, an AIR member currently on leave from her position as Executive Director of Institutional Research and Analysis at the University of Denver to serve as AIR’s Strategy Director for IR Capacity Initiatives, was asked to share her perspective on the three most highly viewed eAIR articles from 2015. Read her thoughts on why these three articles may have appealed to eAIR subscribers. Share your insights on the 2015 articles and predict the hot topics of 2016 at the end of the article. 

Avoiding Data Warehouse Pitfalls (May 2015 eAIR): Given the fact that IR increasingly coordinates with IT to ensure that data are stored securely while allowing appropriate access and use of those data by individuals, it is no surprise that an article related to data warehousing was the most highly viewed article of 2015. Students, faculty, staff, and leadership are all demanding quick access to data needed to inform decisions, and institutional researchers are turning to technology to help meet those demands. A feature of this article was the inclusion of data from an AIR member survey on the topic of implementing a data warehouse. The promise of learning from others who have implemented, or plan to implement, a data warehouse was another reason this article had appeal.
Hiring an IR Director: Advice from the Field (October 2015 eAIR): As an IR professional, I look to my professional association, AIR, to provide insight into professional development and growth in my career. This second-most highly viewed eAIR article provided a glimpse into the skills needed to succeed as an IR director. As the article comment section reflected, there is not yet an agreed-upon set of skills for IR professionals, particularly when all skills must be possessed by one person, as is often the case in a small IR office. Some of the work that AIR is currently conducting around IR duties and functions as well as the National Survey of IR Offices will lead to more discussion and perhaps greater clarity around how to position IR effectively within institutions. This will also ensure that the necessary skills exist to effectively use data, information, and analysis for decision support.
Common Data Set: What’s your Return on Investment? (March 2015 eAIR): As with the data warehouse article, the third-most highly viewed article included data from an AIR member survey, this time related to their preparation and use of CDS data. To accomplish everything that IR practitioners identify as important to an institution related to data, information, and analysis for decision support, it is crucial to automate the regular reporting required of institutions and use these data to meet multiple purposes as much as possible. This way, IR professionals can concentrate their efforts on bigger-picture goals. This article allowed readers to consider institutional uses for the CDS data in order to increase return on investment of their time in preparing the data.
We want to hear from you. Why do believe these articles were of particular interest to eAIR subscribers? What do you think will be the subject of the most highly viewed eAIR articles of 2016?


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