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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Risks and Best Practices for Working with Student Data

IR&DS, Student Data Stewardship, and Data Governance have partnered to offer some thoughts about how to present, interpret, and distribute student information responsibly. The project was designed to introduce some of the common pitfalls that those who regularly prepare and analyze data may experience. We have compiled a list of risks and best practices for working with student data that is not intended to be exhaustive, but can be used as a starting point for conversation or simply food for thought.  To help illustrate these concepts, we also created three fictional scenarios that depict some of the ways that data might be misused or misinterpreted. You can explore the list and scenarios at Risks and Best Practices for Working With Student Data page on the SIRIS website.

Featured Announcements

SIRIS Student Analytics is moving forward with two new releases:  census data and instruction data. Census data allow folks to look at the university’s enrollment patterns over time, while instruction data provides detailed information about who teaches our classes. The SIRIS team is also working on an improved, user-friendly interface for department users. If you are interested in learning more about these developments, please contact the SIRIS team at SIRIS-support@lists.stanford.edu.

The IDEAL Dashboard was launched in May 2019 as part of the Provost's IDEAL initiative. The dashboard was a collaborative effort between IR&DS and other campus offices and is the first public release of demographic data encompassing all of Stanford's populations: students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and staff. The goal of the dashboard is to provide the public and our community with more information about diversity at Stanford, to highlight differences across our populations, and to show changes over time. While the current set of data are limited in terms of the level of detail and the demographic variables displayed, we plan to continue improving and enhancing the displays over time. The dashboard can be found on the IDEAL homepage on the Our Vision website.

Have you wished for a place to find out information about the university's data elements? We may be able to help you with your quest.  Stanford's Data Governance program strives to improve the effectiveness and usefulness of the university's data elements by documenting what the data represents, where the data is stored and how the data should be used in Stanford’s Data Governance Center (DGC) [Stanford only, limited access].  The DGC includes a business glossary to let you know what the data represents; reporting index, code sets and decode values, along with documentation of data sources to so you know where the data is stored; business rules, best practices, and appropriate usage so you know how the data should be used. In addition to the DGC, we also have infographics documenting relations between complex areas and best practices on data usage (data stewardship maps).

 

 

IR&DS DATA & FINDINGS

For an index of IR&DS reports, data tools, and reference materials, see: Data & Findings.

Announcements

Please welcome Shannon Monahan, who will be joining IR&DS as an Institutional Research Analyst. Shannon worked previously for the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and brings with her a deep knowledge of the institution, technical proficiency, and years of experience in analyzing and reporting on a unique population at Stanford in support of policy review and decision-making. In 2018, Shannon was given the Inspiring Change Leadership Award by the School of Medicine in recognition of her professional abilities and commitment to the campus community. Shannon will be applying her expertise to a variety of new projects, including the development of improved reporting on graduate student financial support, and supporting the team's ongoing efforts on a range of topics.

Join us in welcoming Tallie Wetzel to IR&DS. She will be serving in the role of Assessment & Program Evaluation Analyst on the Assessment team. Her initial responsibilities will include supporting the administration, analysis and reporting on several institution-wide surveys. Prior to joining the Assessment team, Tallie worked for SRI International in the Education Division as a quantitative research analyst. Tallie brings to her position at Stanford many years of training and experience in wrangling large, complex, messy data for the purpose of better understanding problems and improving policy- and decision-making.

 

Justin Lind is joining IR&DS as Business Intelligence Student Analytics Educator/Analyst to support the Student Integrated Reporting and Information System (SIRIS) initiative. Justin will develop and deliver training on SIRIS and take the lead on SIRIS communications. Justin will be part of the team designing new content and functionality for SIRIS, representing users’ needs. He brings to this role deep Stanford knowledge and experience. Justin has worked in Student Services in three Stanford schools, most recently as Student Services Manager in the Bioengineering department. Prior to that, he was a Curriculum and Projects Administrator for major undergraduate programs in the office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Justin holds bachelor’s degrees in the arts, specializing in Music and Dance. 

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