Faculty activity reporting software is an important investment for your university, so you want to prepare yourself to make the most of it from the moment you sign on. Asking your stakeholders some key questions sets the stage for successful implementation and meeting your institution’s objectives on schedule. Here are six things to know before you launch faculty activity reporting software.
Defined goals help you shape the configuration of your faculty activity reporting solution, as well as how you communicate with faculty about the tool. Knowing upfront how you want to use the data, whether for regional accreditation reporting, professional accreditation for colleges, or measuring impacts or strategic initiatives, ensures you can build data collection fields, screens and reports needed to meet these goals.
You’ve set goals, so that might seem like the logical place to start. But your goals may not resonate with faculty, such as ad hoc queries, or may overwhelm faculty, such as promotion and tenure reporting. So your first priority might be a stepping stone to success for your main goals. One common first priority is faculty annual reporting. This gives you a year or two of faculty data, which can then feed larger goals, such as accreditation reporting. It also gets faculty comfortable with the system before asking them for all of the information necessary for a full CV or dossier for promotion and tenure review.
Who on your campus has a stake in faculty activity reporting? From the Institutional Research team and provost’s office to deans, chairs and representatives of the faculty senate or union all have a vested interest in your decisions about faculty activity reporting software. They’ll also play an important part in encouraging, and maybe even requiring, faculty to use the system. Satisfying their reporting needs and questions about ease of use, use of the data and other concerns will go a long way in ensuring the success of your launch.
Are you gathering faculty activity data from file cabinets and various spreadsheets? Using custom software developed on campus? What do faculty like or dislike about current processes? A clear-eyed assessment of your current state will help you define gaps, and prioritize the faculty activity outputs that are most urgently needed on campus.
Existing Campus Systems
Consider your existing campus systems like Banner, Peoplesoft, etc., and determine the best way to integrate that existing data into your faculty activity reporting solution, as well as the quality of that source data. Some coordination with IT, human resources and other teams will allow you to leverage those existing data sets for faculty activity reporting and ensure what you bring in is useful. This reduces manual data entry—and the likelihood of introducing errors, which ensures higher data quality from day one.
The best faculty activity reporting software allows you to directly import citations from sources such as Crossref, PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science and other databases as well as ORCID. Knowing your university’s access to these sources will help you leverage those subscriptions for faculty activity reporting. Your institution’s library team should have information about your citation database subscriptions.
Knowing your university’s answers to the above concerns ensures that your faculty activity reporting software implementation goes smoothly and delivers the reporting you need as quickly as possible. Questions about implementing faculty activity reporting software? Request a consultation to discuss your university’s plans.