1. What is your job title?
Senior Analyst, University Performance, the Australian National University.
2. Briefly, how would you describe your role in terms of your place in your institution?
The University Performance team is situated in the Planning and Performance Measurement Division and reports to the Chief Operating Officer. The team also has extensive engagements with the Australian National University’s senior executive in the provision of information, and analyses and insights on institutional performance to best support effective decision making.
My current role largely involves undertaking analyses of university performance, international rankings, competitor benchmarking, environmental scanning and quantitative benefit realisation. My role challenges me as I am continuously gaining knowledge and a deeper understanding of the sector. This enables me to best offer insights of performance, as standard data reports nowadays are no longer meeting stakeholder demands. My previous role within the Division centred on managing survey data collections and survey results analyses.
3. From your perspective, what are the emerging areas of interest in institutional research?
Making data deliver value. While institutions have been busily collecting data, and continuously optimising enterprise-wide data management platforms, it can still be difficult to deliver powerful insights and predictive information to maximise business value.
In an environment of big data and accelerated data creation, a large amount of data is flooding our data warehouse. However, a large amount of data is left untouched due to limited resources and skills. Sometimes it can be a struggle for data analysts to know how to access the data, or how to turn the ‘dumped’ data into meaningful assets so that the institution can really benefit from the insights these datasets deliver.
Also, I could see that the ‘presenting information to inform decision making’ role for analysts is changing to accommodate the higher expectations from stakeholders seeking ‘insightful advice and contextual understanding of the area’.
4. What do you believe will be the future priorities for institutional research?
As mentioned previously, people who possess the ability of maximising how data is collected and analysed, and can bring all the information together into context to provide new insights to the business, would be of high value to institutions.
Knowing how resources like log data and clickstream data are collected, the capability of taking advantage by effectively using the vast amount of data and offering valuable insights to create value-added information is vital.
While automation is talked about by many people, analytical minds with the ability of deeper analysis will still be in demand.
5. Complete this statement: In my role, I can’t operate effectively without…
…my lunchtime catch-ups with colleagues/friends/ex-colleagues, and midday walks on the beautiful campus. These are all good ways to energy up for the afternoon.
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