The primary purpose of the Office of Institutional Research is to provide Boston College administrators, faculty, and students with accurate information in order to facilitate optimal decision-making. While the types of projects handled by the office are diverse, they broadly fall into the following areas:
1. Information Clearinghouse
The Office of Institutional Research serves as a resource for official statistics about Boston College. We work continually to gather and organize campus data so that they can be used for internal and external reporting. Institutional Research regularly publishes documents such as the Fact Book and Department Profiles to serve as information resources for the campus. We also coordinate the collection of data for several standard reports to external agencies, including IPEDS and the Common Data Set. For more information, please contact Jessica Greene.
2. Survey Design, Implementation, and Analysis
One of our areas of expertise is in the development and implementation of surveys to Boston College constituents. The information from these surveys can be used to monitor trends among our students, faculty/staff, and alumni, or to provide targeted feedback about a particular program or campus issue. Institutional Research utilizes a number of pre-designed national surveys, particularly those from the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) but also designs instruments in-house for individual departments. We customize data reports from the surveys based on the needs of our various audiences. Although our strengths lie with quantitatively-driven projects, some qualitative methodologies—such as focus groups—are utilized to enhance data gathered through more quantitatively-based instruments. For more information, please contact Jessica Greene.
3. Data Guidance / Data Warehouse Project
As a central data provider, IR sees individual data requests in the context of all University data sources. In order to more accurately and efficiently distribute University information, we have partnered with ITS in an exciting endeavor to improve Boston College's data warehouse.