New Data Dashboards Introduced to Support Faculty, Staff in Decision-making

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To provide the campus with a robust set of tools to better inform decision-making, the new office of University Analytics and Institutional Research (UAIR) has developed Flagship Analytics, a set of data dashboards available to all faculty and staff. The graphics-rich and intuitive dashboards can be found at analytics.umass.edu, accessible by using a NetID and login.

“This is about delivering data aligned with the kinds of decisions people make across the university with a particular focus on equitable student success outcomes and the efficient use of resources,” said Barb Chalfonte, executive director of strategic analytics. “The amount of data and systems here is vast, so we have started with the Campus Core Dashboards: student-related data including enrollment headcounts, course registrations and degree completions. Over time, we will include data from other areas such as Student Affairs and Campus Life, Administration and Finance, and Research and Engagement.”

Chalfonte, who joined UMass Amherst in 2018, noted that UAIR is a redefined version of the former Office of Institutional Research (OIR), the name change reflecting a new focus on decision support and analysis, augmenting people’s experience and skills with data and analytics. As part of the new approach, Krisztina Filip was promoted to director of operational analytics and is the lead on the Flagship Analytics dashboards.

More in-depth dashboards which include information on student success outcomes, student movement among majors and financial aid are available to faculty and staff who receive training from UAIR. To date, over 300 people have been trained on how they can use these dashboards in their work. For more information, visit www.umass.edu/oir/analytics.

“We’re excited about bringing these new tools to decision-makers in all fields of study and administrative departments,” Chalfonte said. “As people engage with our team, we’re particularly interested in learning what work they can  accomplish with the current dashboards and what data are still needed, particularly information that is kept locally in a single office or department.”

Chalfonte came to UMass Amherst from Springfield Technical Community College, where she was vice president for institutional effectiveness and information technology. Previously, she also served as a faculty member at Westfield State University and Mount Holyoke College. Chalfonte earned a B.A. in psychology from Williams College, a master’s in cognitive psychology from McMaster University, and a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from Princeton University.