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Institutions of higher education, especially private universities and colleges, can be notoriously opaque when it comes to data about who their students are, what they do while on campus, and where they go when they leave. In reality, much of this has to do with the “siloed” nature of college and university organizational structures, decision-making processes, and data collection, analysis and reporting efforts. However, there is an unprecedented demand in higher education for integrating data into our understanding of who we are, who we are educating and what impact the education we provide has on our students and alumni.
This presentation will briefly cover some of the strategic reasons for why Stanford uses Tableau in a variety university venues to better integrate data into the decision-making processes of administrators, faculty, staff and students. We will then look at specific examples of particularly effective data visualization efforts by Stanford institutional researchers to analyze and communicate data and findings across a number of common areas in the assessment and evaluation of higher education: course-taking patterns, student surveys, and alumni employment outcomes. We will then wrap up with by highlighting specific challenges we have faced at Stanford in the deployment of Tableau as a key tool for institutional research, with plenty of time for questions and discussion.