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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: Class Offerings and Enrollments components were released in late April. This release covers course and class data, including detailed information about individual student class enrollment and class characteristics. Questions such as “Who is enrolled in all sections of my cross-listed class?” and “How many undergraduates have taken our courses?” can be answered with these new components.
Training for users are being rolled out throughout the summer, with upcoming open sessions to be held in August. If you or your team is interested in training, please contact May Khoo at

IR&DS has published a new webpage that presents the findings of a recent major study of PhD alumni employment outcomes. The study, undertaken by IR&DS in collaboration with the Office for the Vice Provost for Graduate Education (VPGE), examined the career paths of 2,420 doctoral alumni across two cohorts. The results of this study are available online here. The webpage is interactive and allows users to explore the data and findings from the study.

IR&DS has released the 2015-16 edition of ‘Stanford University Statistics’, with more than 50 tables of data about Stanford’s students, faculty, staff, research, and finances. This is available here.


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


Please welcome Clara Carter, our new Business Intelligence and Reporting Analyst on the IR&DS team. Clara is returning to Stanford as part of the SIRIS (Student Integrated Reporting and Information System) team, and she brings over 15 years of BI experience in addition to the 5 years she spent working with Stanford student data previously. We’re so glad she’s back!

Stephanie is our newest Institutional Research Associate. Her role will be to support the Student Data Oversight Committee, the Data Governance Program and tools.  She will also be supporting the development of the SIRIS Oversight Committee. Stephanie brings to this role a high level of attention to detail and the ability to handle multiple projects at one time with success. We are enthusiastic about Stephanie joining our teams and welcome her wholeheartedly.


May Khoo joined the IR&DS team as Business Intelligence Student Analytics Educator/Analyst, with experience spanning the education and non-profit sectors in multiple countries. She will be working closely with the campus community, particularly with the rolling out of newer versions of SIRIS in the coming months. Please join us in welcoming May!

IR&DS is thrilled to welcome Amon Horne as our new Director of Decision Support and Business Intelligence. He has over ten years’ experience working in higher education at Bentley University and MIT. Amon has specialized in improving structures and processes for making sure that campus constituents can get the information that they need. Amon will lead our SIRIS and Decision Support Services teams. Please help us welcome Amon to Stanford!

IR&DS has released a two-page 'quick reference' compilation of current data on Stanford's students, faculty, staff, financial aid, finances, research, and more. This is available here.