Where can I find…?
Some routine questions can be answered by existing sources of data; these include student numbers and characteristics, faculty numbers, and other general institutional characteristics. PLU’s Fact Book is available on the OIR web page. By mid-October the Fact Book should be complete with data from the 16-17 academic year and fall 17.
You might also try the IPEDS data, our official public record data set, available at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/Home/UseTheData. Please contact us if you have questions about accessing or using IPEDS data. Other resources will be posted on the OIR webpages as the year progresses, and we are working on a set of dashboard tools for the future to facilitate access to data.
How do I make a request?
If your question cannot be answered by existing sources such as IPEDS or the Fact Book, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from OIR will respond to you as soon as possible. During fall semester, a new request form will be implemented, however we understand that some requests are complicated or formative, so requests by email will always be accepted.
What happens when I request data?
Your data request will be reviewed by OIR and allocated to the appropriate office or offices. Most of the time that will be the staff in OIR, but we also work closely with several other offices to be able to best serve faculty, staff, and external agencies.
How long does a request take?
It depends! Even simple requests that don’t take much time to process may still have to wait in a queue. Please always allow at least two weeks’ lead-time for a data request. If you have a critical deadline, such as for a grant application or an externally mandated report, please make sure to let us know and we will do our best to meet it.
Sometimes we may need to spend some time working with you to clarify or refine your question. We are always happy to do this, especially as it saves time later if we can respond to your request clearly and accurately the first time!
What if I disagree with the data?
If the report you receive seems incorrect or does not match your understanding, expectations, or hypothesis, please let us know. It helps us to be able to discuss the discrepancies, and these sometimes flag up reporting or coding errors.
What if someone asks me for data?
You may get external requests for PLU data. If you do, please forward these to OIR. It’s very important that any data released to outside agencies is appropriate and accurate, and complies with any privacy requirements.
Can you help me or my students with research projects?
As long as we have the time, we are very happy to help with research projects. We can assist with survey design, focus group administration, qualitative data analysis, and other projects. We are also continually following institutional research practice in other institutions, so if you are curious about best practice in other institutions, or existing research into aspects of student success or institutional effectiveness, please let us know and we will see what we can find for you.
Do you offer any training on PLU data?
Absolutely. If you would like us to work with your or your departments to help you better understand, access, and apply PLU data, please let us know. We are also very happy to come and talk to any groups about OIR and what we can do, or to meet and discuss research ideas or projects.
How do I contact you?
Summer Kenesson (Director) x8145, email@example.com
Amber Anten (Data Analyst) x7444, firstname.lastname@example.org