Data Bite

The National Survey of IR Offices was conducted to establish a baseline of IR Office capacities. The purpose of the survey was to document the characterizations of IR Offices, including scope of work, reporting lines, staffing, and fiscal resources. Each month, eAIR will feature a snapshot of data from the results of that survey.  

December 2017

IR and IT have a close working relationships at most institutions. But, exactly, what does that relationship look like? Results from the National Survey of IR Offices shows that between 68% and 76% of IR Offices (depending on sector) report to different administrative units compared to IT while 19%-28% (depending on sector) report to the same administrative unit. Only 2% of IR Offices report that they’re housed in the same department as IT.

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Is this what you expected? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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November 2017

We’ve explored the number of professional IR staff in IR offices in previous Data Bites. This month, we'll look at the types of staff involved. 

Based on what we learned from the 2016 National Survey of IR Offices, 95% have a full-time director, while 5% have a part-time director. For professionals employed in IR offices, 84% have at least one full-time professional and 13% have at least one part-time professional (e.g., analyst). Regarding administrative staff, 28% of IR offices have at least one full-time staff person and 10% have at least one part-time staff person. Moving on to students, 18% of IR offices have at least one undergraduate student working in the office, while 11% have at least one graduate student working in the office. These statistics are reflected in the infographic below:

11-Nov-DataBite.png

Is this what you expected? Let us know if the comments below.

 

 November 2017 Comments

 
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Tony posted on 11/17/2017 9:13 AM
Very cool data bite. It's nice to see how we compare with the national scene.

 

October 2017

In June, we explored the "personality" of IR Offices by sector and found that offices at public 4-year institutions were more likely to have broad responsibilities while private, not-for-profit, 4-year institutions were more likely to have limited responsibilities. In the National Survey of IR Office report, we defined “personality” as the range of tasks conducted by the IR Office: Broad perform many tasks, Focused perform a smaller group of tasks, and Limited Responsibility perform a narrow scope of tasks.

But, how do these “personalities” differ by staff size? Below we show the relationship between Personality and IR Office staff size (counting the Director of IR and professional IR staff only). While these metrics correlate (r = .105, p < .01), the result isn’t as impressive as one might expect. Eighteen percent of “broad” IR Offices have large staff size while 23% of limited responsibility IR Offices have small staff size.

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September 2017

Every U.S. postsecondary institution that awards federal financial aid must submit data to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) as part of the Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS). In addition to the demands of IPEDS reporting, institutions must respond to federal, state, and district requests for information and provide a wealth of information to satisfy institutional accreditation. How involved is the IR Office in compliance reporting? The short answer is “very involved.”

Nearly 90% of IR Offices responding to the 2015 National Survey of IR Offices indicated that their institution’s IPEDS Keyholder resided within the IR Office (the IPEDS Keyholder is responsible for ensuring that all data are accurately entered and that those data are locked for review).

The survey also asked about several compliance-related tasks. We found that over 75% of IR Offices (regardless of sector) were primarily responsible for their institution’s compliance reporting with the exception of institutional accreditation. In this case, approximately one-fourth of IR Offices were primarily responsible, and two-thirds shared that responsibility with other units.



We are preparing for the next launch of the National Survey of IR Offices. If you have suggestions for items that should appear on the survey, please email Darlena Jones at djones@airweb.org or let us know in the comments below.

 

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August 2017

The Statement of Aspirational Practice for Institutional Research calls for intentional building and support of the institutional research function—the collection of data users and producers across an institution (download paper here). One unit that uses and produces data is the Student Financial Aid office.

In the National Survey of IR Offices, participants were asked a series of questions regarding student financial aid. Regardless of sector, we find that:

  1. Most IR and Student Financial Aid Offices work together;

  2. Most IR Offices can access Student Financial Aid data (unrestricted access or are granted access)

  3. And, most IR Offices are not involved in student financial aid modeling

DataBite-Graphic_Aug.jpg
Do these results hold true for your institution? Let us know if the comments below.

 

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June 2017

The National Survey of IR Offices report (page 7) grouped IR offices into three “personalities:” Broad (offices with broad portfolios of work for which they are responsible, 27% of offices), Focused (offices with a concrete set of tasks with a significant set of tasks for which they have no responsibility, 45% of offices), and Limited Responsibility (offices whose responsibility is largely centered on reporting tasks, 28% of offices).

Disaggregating by sector, we find that Public institutions (2-year and 4-year) have similar ratios of Broad, Focused, and Limited Responsibility while a lower percentage of Private, not-for-profit, 4-year institutions are in the “Broad” category compared to public institutions.

DataBite Graphic_June-01 (002).png

Which personality does your IR Office have? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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May 2017

Access to data is the foundation of a data-informed decision culture. However, some IR Offices report limited or restricted access to a number of institutional data sets that might prove valuable in researching predictors of student success. From the National Survey of IR Offices, we learn that 57% of IR Offices have limited access to student class attendance and 46% have limited access to student activities data.   

MayDBgraph.PNG

Do these results hold true for your institution? Let us know in the comments below.

 
 

 May 2017 Comments

 
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Meihua posted on 5/12/2017 8:43 AM
About 28% of student class attendance data: how do institutions collect that data other than Desire2Learn or Blackboard data? Those six categories of data are essential to predict student success, but collecting the data has been very challenging, especially for student class attendance and student activities/student affairs transcript data.

April 2017

Institutional research should impact every unit at an institution. But, are some units more likely to use IR than others? According to results from the National Survey of IR Offices, there are certain units more likely to use IR work. On the other hand, some units do not utilize IR as much, and are lower consumers of IR services. The most and least likely units to use IR services are reflected below.

DataBite-April-v2.png

Do these results hold true for your institution? Let us know in the comments below.

 
 

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March 2017

What does the profile of the average Director of IR look like? Results from the National Survey of IR Offices, in combination with AIR’s membership data, show that the average IR Director is 50 years old, has an advanced degree (46% have master’s degrees and 43% have doctoral degrees), has spent 11 years in IR, and 6.5 years leading IR at their current institution. Additionally, the average IR Director spends nearly half their time on meetings (5.3 hours/week), basic analytics (5.2 hours/week), data collection (4.6 hours/week), and data governance (4.5 hours/week).

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February 2017

Last spring, we explored the FTE of the director and professional IR staff and found a correlation between FTE and student enrollment. This month, we go a step further and disaggregate those data by institutional sector to find that the correlation holds. In general, the larger the institution, the larger the IR Office. Does this hold true for your institution? 

DataBite-Feb-17.png

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 February 2017 Comments

 
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Jason posted on 2/17/2017 12:43 PM
There are many schools that fall in the <5k student FTE group. It would be great to see the data on that subset. Specifically, I'm wondering where the change from 1 FTE to 2 FTE occurs. I would imagine that there are lots of 1-person shops that could use this data to inform discussions on increasing personnel.

Thanks!

 

January 2017

Over the next few months, we’ll explore the relationships between the IR Office and other institutional offices. This month, we’ll look at the support provided by the IR Office to the Finance Office. Results from the National Survey of IR Offices show that very few IR Offices report directly to the Finance Office (less than 4% in total). But, many IR Offices work with their Finance Office. We find that the majority of IR Offices, regardless of sector, provides data/information/analyses for the Finance Office. In addition, approximately 1 out of 3 IR Offices provide consultation to the Finance Office.    

 

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Note: Respondents could choose more than one answer option; the totals within a group will not add to 100%
 

Do these results mirror the relationship between your IR and Finance offices? If not, what does your relationship look like? Let us know in the comments below.

 
 

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December 2016 

Over the past few months, we’ve explored the funding of the IR Office. This month, we’ll explore how funding might change for the next academic year.

Here we find approximately 16% of IR Offices expect their funding to increase for the next fiscal year while nearly the same percentage, 17%, expect their funding to be cut. These percentages are consistent across sectors.

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How is the funding in your IR Office changing over the next fiscal year? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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November 2016

Last month, we discussed the location of funding for the IR Office. This month, we’ll delve a little deeper into the budget of the IR Office.

In the National Survey of IR Offices, we asked respondents for the number of dollars that the Office of IR had primary responsibility or oversight for during the 2014-2015 academic year (excluding salary and benefits). As expected, that number correlates with institutional enrollment.   

To provide a better comparison, we provide the breakdown of IR Office dollars by student FTE.  We find that 45% of IR Offices oversee a budget less than $5 per student FTE while 14% of IR Offices control a budget of $20 or more per student FTE.

Do these results surprise you?  Let us know in the comments below.

 DataBite-November.png

 

 November 2016 Comments

 
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Joe posted on 11/11/2016 12:16 AM
What is the point of this research if the association has no advocacy for what the funding levels should be?

I estimate that institutions on average waste $1,000,000 per year on institutional research as elaborate profusions or federated networks of inefficient "functions." See: http://www.historiaresearch.com/ie/institutional-researchs-metropolis. The United States alone could build a Large Hadron Collider every two years with the amount of money sunk into distributed institutional research "functions." Do we discover a Higgs-Boson particle every two years? I think not.

Noel-Levitz (Ruffalo) provides formulas to measure the average expenditures on admissions and recruitment across multiple units in an institution. One would think that the Association for Institutional Research (the "data" people) could do the same for its members so we can argue the benefits of centralizing "functions" in one office.

We save institution millions of dollars when build capacity in our offices.

 

October 2016

We’re going to explore the financial resources of the IR Office over the next few Data Bite articles. This month, we’ll look at the location of the financial resources that support the IR Office.  

Results from the National Survey of IR Offices show that 9 out of 10 IR offices have their own budget, while 1 out of 4 IR offices secure funds through their supervisor’s budget.

Is there a Data Bite you would like to see? Let us know by including it in the comments below.

DataBite-October-v1.png 

Please note that respondents could choose more than one option; this chart will add up to more than 100%.

 

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September 2016

In last month’s Data Bite, we learned that 51 percent of Offices of IR are located within the division of the Provost/Chief Academic Officer and 26 percent are located within the division of the President/Chief Executive Officer.

Who does the Office of IR director/senior manager report to within those divisions? We find 37 percent of directors of IR at public, two-year institutions report directly to the institution’s president/CEO (compared to 16 percent and 12 percent for directors of IR at private, not-for-profit, four-year institutions and public, four-year institutions, respectively).

We also find that 19 percent of directors of IR at public, two-year institutions report directly to their institution’s provost/CAO (compared to 46 percent and 38 percent for directors of IR at private, not-for-profit, four-year institutions and public, four-year institutions, respectively).

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August 2016

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.    

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NOTE: Values add to less than 100% due to rounding errors.

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July 2016

Net Price Calculators are available on a college’s or university’s website and allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students similar to them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account.  
 
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What is the Office of IR’s responsibility regarding their institution’s Net Price Calculator? We find that 52 percent of public, two-year institutions are either primarily responsible or share responsibility for the Net Price Calculator, compared to 47 percent of public, four-year and 37 percent of private, not-for-profit, four-year institutions.
 
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June 2016

In the May 2016 Data Bite, we explored the average FTE of the IR Office (Director and Professional IR Staff only) for not-for-profit institutions. Commenters were interested in delving into the staff FTE for small institutions (student FTE of less than 5,000).

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Here we see the same trend; the larger the student enrollment, the larger the IR Office staff. Cutting across sectors, the average FTE remains consistent.  

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 Comments

 
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Total Comments: 2
 
Marlene posted on 6/24/2016 10:16 AM
This is extremely useful, thank you! It is going in my file of materials to reference in my departmental self study for the coming year.
Anne posted on 9/16/2016 4:11 AM
Are these strictly IR personnel, or are assessment personnel also included? My office handles IR, assessment, and strategic planning, and there are 3 of us, but only 1.5 are IR-only. It would be good to know if comparing my office to the data above is an apples to apples or an apples to oranges comparison. Thank you!
 

May 2016

This month, we highlight the average FTE of director and professional IR staff (filled or vacant positions) disaggregated by student FTE. From this graph, it is clear, and not surprising, that larger institutions have larger staffs.   

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 May 2016 Comments

 
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Jason posted on 5/12/2016 10:35 AM
I would like to see the less than 5k broken down. Where does it move from 1 to 2?
Christine posted on 5/12/2016 10:49 AM
I agree with Jason - this information would be very helpful as supporting evidence as to why we need more personnel for those of us at small colleges.
Marlene posted on 5/16/2016 9:20 AM
I agree with Jason and Christine that it would be useful to drill down into the data even further. Also, it isn't clear whether the infographic represents results for both 2-year and 4-year institutions. If so, please break down by these segments as well. Thank you! These results are very valuable to all of us in the field.
Kris posted on 5/17/2016 12:13 PM
Is the 'student FTE' to which the above graphic refers an annual unduplicated FTE, a Fall unduplicated FTE, or something else? I scanned the overall report, and I did not see a specific data source reference for this data point.
Christina posted on 5/17/2016 12:59 PM
I agree with previous commenters on additional disaggregation. If possible, I would like to see the breakdown between public and private.
Barb posted on 5/20/2016 12:56 PM
To the people asking about 2 year vs 4 year distributions, it is in the report (I was going to include a screenshot but evidently you can include a pic in these comments). Anyway, check out page 5.