Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio has been a leader in the use of data and analytics for years, thanks to the efforts of Karl Konsdorf, Sinclair’s director of research, analytics, and reporting. Konsdorf leads a team responsible for database administration, institutional research, report development, and data quality. His group helps Sinclair understand and gain insight into student success and student outcomes.
Recently, Konsdorf deployed a new data-visualization strategy that allows users to conduct interactive reporting, visual data discovery, and self-service analytics. Enrollment managers, department heads, deans, and advisers can interact with reports, collaborate on insights, and slice and dice data to make proactive decisions about enrollment, retention, performance, and degree completion. For example, what is enrollment this year compared with the same time last year?
Based on his data-visualization success, Konsdorf offers the following five tips for colleges and universities hoping to increase self-service access to reports so that decision-makers can quickly get the answers they need.
1. Secure buy-in at all levels of management. Data and analytics programs need to have executive sponsorship at the highest level—someone who fully understands the value the initiative can bring to the institution and has a vision for using it to improve school, program, and student outcomes.