Sessions such as “Using Data for Institutional Effectiveness,” “Data Informed Program Portfolio Development,” “Making the Case with Data,” and “By the Numbers: Using Big Data to Build and Shape Enrollment Success” offered multiple perspectives and strategies on how to collect, analyze, use, and share data to support strategic priorities.
Several presenters noted that data offer a holistic view of an institution’s enrollment, program planning, and operations and suggest important stories that can be shared with boards, faculty, and other constituencies. However, data are not the same as information or communication and must be brought to life by contextual perspectives. Collecting and sharing data in a meaningful, equitable, and humanizing way is necessary, but not sufficient: data alone do not replace or outweigh leadership.
Research Round Robins provided an open forum for presidents to access the latest research on independent higher education topics such as data-driven assessments for admissions, goal setting, and retention; dashboards; attracting adult learners; and retaining high performing and high potential talent.
CIC provides annual Key Indicators Tools (KIT) and Financial Indicators Tools (FIT) reports to members. The data help to provide a clear picture of where an institution may stand in comparison to other institutions on various metrics. The KIT reports provide useful data to help make strategic decisions about a campus but require contextual information to fully tell the story of what the institution is experiencing. These sessions provided multiple ways to build and frame this context to better analyze and share the data.