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An Easier Way to Prepare Your Data for IPEDS Reporting

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ipeds reporting

By James Cousins, Analyst Manager

If you’re responsible for any portion of the IPEDS reporting or submission process, you understand how challenging and time-consuming a procedure it can be. Still, submitting accurate IPEDS data on time is critical to the continued operation of your institution. 

At Rapid Insight, we’re always looking for ways to improve our customers’ work and make their lives easier. One area where we can be of major service is in preparation for IPEDS reporting. We can help you move from tedious collection and manual data entry to quick, automated data prep and formatting.

Read on to see how we can help you drastically reduce the time it takes to prepare and format your IPEDS data, and how you can test out our IPEDS tools and support for free!

Preparing IPEDS Data: The Tedious Way

Ultimately, IPEDS reporting boils down to accessing data from across your department or institution and making sure it’s accurate before submitting it. However, there are plenty of pesky little things that complicate what should be a simple process. 

For example: do you need to reformat the data in your system to meet IPEDS requirements? Are the answers to different parts of the surveys scattered across systems or tables? Was the data entered correctly and consistently by the wide variety of users who logged it?

Manually reviewing the data to ensure that duplicate data points, spelling issues, and coding consistency are all addressed can take tens of hours. And the potential for human error is omnipresent in the process. After a workweek full of reviewing spreadsheets, it’s a lot easier to make mistakes.

Preparing IPEDS Data: The Easier Way

What if, instead of manually collating and cleansing the data from every department, then painstakingly formatting it to meet the IPEDS submission guidelines…

Automated workflows could take care of all that work for you?


Let Rapid Insight do the heavy lifting!

With Rapid Insight Construct, you can build a process that connects with all of your data sources, including your student information system, spreadsheets, flat files, and more. Then, working with our analysts, you can build out a customized process that cleanses the data to meet IPEDS requirements. 

Get A Free Trial for IPEDS!

Once you have a workflow built and tested, you can save it for re-use the next time you need it. Re-using your workflows can reduce the time it takes to prepare your IPEDS data by 75%.

Importing IPEDS Reporting Data with Confidence

Even after you’ve gathered and cleansed your IPEDS data, entering accurate information and avoiding typos as you do so is critical to completing the process. But clicking between pages and completing each form feels like it takes forever.

The good news is that IPEDS allows for data imports (provided your data is structured in a fixed-width file and adheres to dozens of requirements about column lengths, names, and orders).

The even better news: Construct can do the formatting for you! Using schema files that map with IPEDS submission guidelines, you can turn your prepped data into a submission file rather than entering the data manually.

IPEDS Submission File Job in Construct Example

As with IPEDS data prep, you can save your formatting workflows for re-use. All you’ll need to do is update the jobs to match any new IPEDS formatting rules. Again, this saves our customers tens of hours versus manual data entry.

Try Rapid Insight’s Software and Support for Free

With Rapid Insight, you’ll never have to go it alone. We pride ourselves on our experience in higher education. Several of our support analysts have direct experience as former higher ed analytics employees. We love applying our direct experience and the wisdom we gain from each of our clients.

If you’re completing your IPEDS reporting, we’d like to offer you a free trial of Construct to help you prep your data. Our analysts are on-hand to guide you in connecting to your data sources and building out your data prep and formatting workflows.

If you’re interested in learning more about how our tools and analyst support team can help you complete your IPEDS duties more efficiently, click the button below to get a free trial!

Get A Free Trial for IPEDS!

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