Automating Reporting in Institutional Research – Schreiner University
Focusing on efficiency, effectiveness, flexibility, continuity, and accuracy
Dr. Gloria Stewart, Director of Institutional Research at Schreiner University, was becoming increasingly frustrated with the time required to develop reports requested by both internal and external consumers. She faced some typical IR problems as the sole staff member of the IR office. Pulling information from the multiple data platforms that various departments maintain made it difficult to produce requested reports and information within tight timeframes.
One of Stewart’s priorities was to automate the more regulatory and ongoing reports to free up the time to provide more detailed and comprehensive analyses when needed, as well as time to answer the “what ifs” and “how about adding in the X variable” questions that come along with any presentation of analysis. Since non-compliance with federal and state-mandated reporting could have dire consequences for the University as a whole, Stewart needed to find a solution. While automating mandated reports was a top concern, Stewart also wanted to automate ongoing internal reports for the university community, like the funnel reports.
At an institutional level, Stewart felt that “…not being able to provide the depth of analyses quickly could impact the right decisions that need to be made to further the mission of the institution.” Thus, she set out to find a way to make her department more efficient.
I was amazed at how quickly I was able to develop and automate reports
Schreiner’s scattered data was becoming increasingly time-consuming to clean and integrate, while data analyses were becoming increasingly important. After discovering and using Rapid Insight’s Construct, they began to see how quickly and efficiently they can clean up data, develop reports and re-produce them for all of their departments’ needs.
Construct is ideal for Schreiner because it allows for flexibility in quickly modifying reports to incorporate changes in definitions or layout. Stewart also praises the automation processes of the program that has helped maximize efficiency. Shortly after installing the software she was amazed by what she was already able to develop and automate:
- National Clearinghouse reports for Degree and Enrollment Verification
- A report monitoring retention of FTIC for the coming year and aggregated by various attributes
- An on-going report requested by superiors annually
As Stewart is beginning to understand the full capabilities of Construct, she has also started to get into Rapid Insight’s Predict. Stewart has already begun analyzing one of their graduating cohort groups and is looking to expand on that project and conduct other assessment projects in support of the institution’s philosophy of data-driven decision making.
The support services provided by Rapid Insight were the most deciding factor in purchasing the software
Before deploying Rapid Insight software, one of Stewart’s main concerns was the availability of support staff. Stewart quickly learned that Rapid Insight’s support staff is very accessible and added that, “…being able to get the assistance quickly from [Rapid Insight] support services as I jump from one project to another has helped tremendously.”
During the trial period with Construct, Schreiner was pleased to find that the software was able to meet the needs of the IR office in “real life” situations; Stewart stated that Rapid Insight staff “…provided individual product demonstrations, quickly responded to my questions and solved any difficulties encountered.” She has found the webinars to be especially beneficial and adds that “…having since purchased the product, Rapid Insight continues with their exceptional support services and continues to make improvements as they learn about needs from their customers.”
About Schreiner University
Schreiner University, a liberal arts institution affiliated by choice and covenant with the Presbyterian Church (USA), is committed to educating students holistically. Primarily undergraduate, the university offers a personalized, integrated education that prepares its students for meaningful work and purposeful lives in a changing global society. SchreinerUniversity will always hold student success as its first priority. The university will be known for its academic rigor; it will continue to be an institution of opportunity where students from a variety of backgrounds and experiences learn through educational programs equipping them to achieve, excel, and lead. The university aspires to serve as a standard to others in programs and practices.