Data Feedback Reports: Now What?

cover_image_200.jpgAIR members reported mixed impact of last year’s release of the Data Feedback Report (DFR). A recent survey of a sample of AIR members could help you prepare for this year’s DFR release in October. 

When reflecting on the 2012 DFR, 69% of survey respondents read them, 47% distributed DFRs to others, and 19% wrote a report or made a presentation on the DFR. These data show that AIR members have close connections with these annual data reports, which are distributed to college and university presidents.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) releases an electronic copy of the DFR to IPEDS Keyholders and Coordinators around the middle of October and mails the hard copy to institution presidents around the end of October. The two weeks of lead time allows AIR members to study the DFR and prepare for questions before the hard copy arrives.  

Survey respondents were asked to report their connections with establishing the comparative institutions used in the DFR. Institutions may provide the comparison set to NCES, or NCES will prepare the comparison set for the institution. (Visit the IPEDS Data Center to learn how to customize the DFR.) Among survey respondents, 41% participate in the selection of peer comparison groups for DFRs, 20% reported that the selections are made by others, 13% stated that the groups are automatically generated by NCES, and 13% did not know how the selections are made. 

In comments, one AIR member noted that the DFR was a wake-up call in that the institution had not adjusted its peer/benchmark institutions in over a decade and it was time to re-visit that decision.  

Respondents reported their perceptions of the impact of last year’s DFR: 43% noted that it received attention from leaders, 20% believed that it did not draw the attention of leaders, and 32% were unaware of the impact. 

You can see a sample report and the full survey data, including respondents’ comments, here. Mark your calendar now and be prepared for the DFR release in October. Share your comments and questions below. 



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Total Comments: 4
Jen posted on 9/13/2013 10:53 AM
I've used our DFR to initiate conversations about Dashboards on our campus. Being able to create a customized version is particularly helpful, and it's pretty easy to do. Have fun with it!
Donna posted on 9/13/2013 5:01 PM
The Data Feedback Report (DFR) is a great tool for Benchmarking. We post the reports on our website, and provide workshops for our colleagues who want to participate in creating their own custom reports and Benchmarking studies. Our workshop participants who are not familiar with creating their own comparison groups are encouraged to view the AIR website where video tutorials are posted on both Creating Comparison Groups and a ‘How-To’ for using the Executive Peer Tool. By combining metrics from both internal studies, and the data available on the IPEDS Universe, IR Offices can provide their executives and administrators with a more robust set of data for decision making.
David posted on 9/13/2013 7:56 PM
Administrators at our campuses are becoming more and more concerned about using data to support policy discussions. The Data Feedback Reports are a good place to begin. Since they are sent to every campus chancellor, they provide a common frame of reference. They also help to raise awareness of IPEDS information resources.
Kristina posted on 9/16/2013 12:32 PM
The IPEDS data center also has information to create a custom DFR which enables you to 1) select different institutions that you would like to compare in the DFR format, 2) remove some of the tables/charts in the document, and add some other variables that would be of interest. Also -- the tables/charts in the DFR can be easily added to a PowerPoint presentation by right clicking on the graph and selecting copy (when in the IPEDS data center and viewing the custom DFR on the screen).