EDUCAUSE Preview: Data Cookbook Delivers More Accurate, Reliable Data To Colleges and Universities
For over a decade iData has been helping colleges and universities make more effective use of their data. The company provides data management solutions, consulting and software products that deliver proven, more reliable data. One of those products is Data Cookbook.
The Data Cookbook was created after years of providing data services to higher education and noticing two recurring themes at many of the institutions iData was working with. Those two themes were that school’s didn’t have the complete requirements or data definitions going into a reporting project. The second part was trust and transparency, school’s didn’t trust the data coming out of those reporting projects.
While developing Data Cookbook iData realized that it helps in other areas as well. They found that in many schools reports were incomplete, definitions were different from one stake holder to another, and duplicate work was being done.
Most of this was never intentional, for example a report may have been commissioned by the state or possibly a potential booster asking “what was your enrollment in 2015”, there could be a variety of answers to that simple question based on full time, part time students, summer students, students that graduated in the winter, students that graduated in the spring. More often than not though, not much direction was given when that question was asked. Even a question as simple as “how many english professors do you have”. Again full time? Part time? At which campus? Of course these problems can get much more complex.
Data Cookbook serves as a guidebook of sorts for those people in college and university positions that are creating content for important reports. It’s hinged on two primary pieces, definitions and specifications. A definition is the what part of the report, how is your institution defining enrollment, how is it defining full time student, or retention. The second, equally important piece is specification. The specification describes the purpose and the content of a specific report.
When Data Cookbook is plugged into your campus reports than there’s a clear understanding by everyone who is reviewing the data.
iData also offers an amazing tool for those in the data management and reporting sectors of higher education. The Data Cookbook community is a consortium of Data Cookbook users that have shared resources, definitions, specifications and more amongst each other. They also are also a key resource for reporting departments to go to as they create the reports that are needed. While every campus is different many of the underlying needs are similar.
You can chat with iData about Data Cookbook, Consulting and their other innovative solutions at EDUCAUSE in Philadelphia, October 31st- November 3rd, booth #839 and find them online at datacookbook.com and idatainc.com