NASPA, Association for Institutional Research, and EDUCAUSE Partner to Research Institutions’ Use of Data and Analytics in Support of Student Success

Student Success Community Professional Level Senior Level
November 26, 2018 NASPA

Washington, DC – NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), and EDUCAUSE have conducted a national landscape analysis to examine how institutional research (IR), student affairs, and information technology (IT) professionals are working together to support students. The partnership, which is supported by Lumina Foundation, resulted in the new report titled, Institutions’ Use of Data and Analytics for Student Success.

The three higher education associations jointly developed and launched a national survey of their memberships to identify trends in the types of student success data projects that institutions conduct, the structures in place for sharing data among multiple users, the level of coordination across functions, and how institutions are using data to inform interventions and program delivery.

“We are proud of the partnership between our organizations because it reflects the type of collaboration that is needed for institutions to more strategically use data in the years ahead,” said Amelia Parnell, vice president for research and policy at NASPA. “This report has good news in that several survey respondents reported that staff at all levels, from early-career to senior leaders, are using data to improve programs and services.”

“AIR is excited that the survey results highlight a coordinated data function in pursuit of student success occurs at most institutions with critical roles being played by IR, IT, and student affairs, said Darlena Jones, director of assessment and research at AIR. “As reflected in the Statement of Aspirational Practice for Institutional Research, this collaborative approach is critical to ensure that decision makers have access to data, analytics, and information to help students reach their educational goals. Institutions and students benefit when organizations, like ours, work together to garner new insights about how data are used in meaningful ways and guide a path forward.”

The focus on data and analytics for student success is a priority for all three organizations, especially EDUCAUSE. “The EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT issues this year reflects higher education’s focus on both student success and the student experience,” said Susan Grajek, vice president for communities and research at EDUCAUSE. “Data is an essential ingredient in understanding, predicting, and improving the value students receive from higher education. Applying data to student success and the student experience demands collaboration across areas, and institutional research, information technology, and student affairs are three essential collaborators. How appropriate, then, and how necessary, for the three associations supporting these professions to develop their own partnership to produce this research.”

The report, Institutions’ Use of Data and Analytics for Student Success, reflects responses from nearly 1,000 IR, student affairs, and IT professionals across public, private, two- and four-year institutions across the United States. The report includes 12 key findings and concludes with four recommendations for improving and executing an institution-wide, data-informed strategy for student success.

To read the full report, visit:

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. Our work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy, and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. territories.

The Association for Institutional Research (AIR) supports higher education professionals in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and communication of data, and the strategic use of information for effective decision making and planning. AIR provides resources, innovative practices, and professional development opportunities for AIR members and the higher education community, including professionals from institutional research, effectiveness, assessment, planning, and related fields. EDUCAUSE is a higher education technology association and the largest community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. Technology, IT roles and responsibilities, and higher education are dynamically changing. Formed in 1998, EDUCAUSE supports those who lead, manage, and use information technology to anticipate and adapt to these changes, advancing strategic IT decision making at every level within higher education. EDUCAUSE is a global nonprofit organization whose members include U.S. and international higher education institutions, corporations, not-for-profit organizations, and K-12 institutions. With a community of more than 99,000 individuals at member organizations located around the world, EDUCAUSE encourages diversity in perspective, opinion, and representation.

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. The Foundation’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.