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About IR&DS

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Mission and scope


IR&DS’s mission is to facilitate institutional decision making at Stanford University by:

  • Providing integrated analysis and research needed by University decision makers
  • Publishing reports that provide insight into the performance of the institution.
  • Assessing and evaluating Stanford’s academic and co-curricular support programs
  • Building data collections and facilitating access to data, including providing training and tools
  • Disseminating and facilitating best practices in the collection, use, and interpretation of data
  • Advocating for data quality and integrity

IR&DS accesses, utilizes, analyzes, and reports on data from all of the major administrative systems at Stanford, including student, faculty, course, research, and financial data. IR&DS performs and facilitates complex analyses for both departments and central offices, including collaborating with other universities to provide comparative data, and proactively publishing management reports.


IR&DS’s skills and expertise include:

  • Ability to interpret information and provide insight to data through knowledge of higher education and Stanford’s organization and business processes
  • Extensive experience with the myriad sources of University data and how to consolidate and present this data in reports and other vehicles most useful to decision makers
  • Technical expertise in data gathering and reporting tools
  • Analytical capabilities in statistics, survey research, assessment, and data mining
  • University-wide perspective on current issues within the context of higher education
  • Familiarity with and access to peer data via participation in data sharing consortia


IR&DS is composed of teams that specialize in Decision Support Services (DSS), Institutional Research, Assessment and Program Evaluation, and Data Governance.

  • The Decision Support Services (DSS) team specializes in the creation of data collections from the major administrative systems at Stanford to aid data consumers in answering complex questions.
  • The Institutional Research team uses administrative systems’ data and other available resources to provide integrated analysis such as teaching activity reporting and trustee data summaries that include all types of administrative data along with helpful management ratios. The IR team also provides analytical support for departments wishing to assess their programs through survey research.
  • The Assessment and Program Evaluation team provides timely, accurate, and thorough reporting on various measures of academic performance, program efficacy, and student outcomes. Research areas include assessment of graduate and undergraduate student performance, and pedagogical, curricular, and programmatic initiatives.
  • Data Governance


Vision statement

Institutional Research & Decision Support is the first-choice provider of timely, high-quality, accessible management information and analysis for informed decision-making at Stanford. We accomplish this by:

  • Having exceptional client relationships that are collaborative, respectful partnerships in which ongoing active listening, communication, and feedback enhance the mission of the University.
  • Ensuring that high-quality enterprise data is readily available and meaningfully conveyed to appropriate stakeholders.
  • Fostering an environment where IR&DS staff work effectively, efficiently, and collaboratively, sharing best practices, strengths in research methodology, access to resources, and knowledge of critical issues in higher education.
  • Providing a state-of-the-art website that describes IR&DS capabilities, projects, and services; educates clients about data definitions, policies, methodologies, and tools; facilitates self-service access to selected Stanford data; and supports internal IR&DS collaboration.

Requesting IR&DS data

IR&DS encourages and supports the use of institutional data, analysis, and research for decision making, in keeping with Stanford University’s educational mission. Our Institutional Data Request Policy Letter describes and explains guidelines for the use of institutional data including criteria for fulfilling data requests, limitations, confidentiality, and sensitivity, as well as self‐service options and availability of other resources.