There’s a new mug on our Digital Measures mug wall! We are pleased to announce that the University of Arkansas (UArk) has joined the rapidly growing number of universities using Activity Insight university-wide to capture and report on faculty activities and achievements. Continue reading “Digital Measures Welcomes the University of Arkansas!”
When the University of Michigan School of Public Health (MPH) implemented faculty activity reporting software to replace its internal faculty salary merit review system, it also took on a far more ambitious project: powering analytics with faculty activity data. The result is visualizations that represent both the quality and quantity of faculty’s teaching, research and service. Sam Russell, Business Analyst with Michigan Public Health, shared the school’s journey from internal system to visualizations of faculty performance at our recent User Group. In the last post, we explored MPH’s rapid Activity Insight implementation. Here, you’ll learn how MPH uses faculty activity data from Activity Insight in Tableau dashboards, showing context, ranking and analytics.
Turning Data Into Visualizations
From the beginning of its Activity Insight implementation, MPH’s vision extended beyond data and reporting. The final merit report for each faculty member is produced in Tableau, where the data can also be placed in context that’s visual and intuitive, with drill-down capabilities for closer examination of data when needed.
Russell detailed an example: a publication record. “We wanted a way to define and measure the value of a publication record,” Russell said. “The position of authorship matters; so does the journal itself.” MPH started with author position, which it captures in Activity Insight, and used calculations based on the Thomson Reuters Journal Impact Factor and other factors to arrive at a publication score. “The publication score rolls up into a research score, which rolls up, along with teaching and service scores, into the overall faculty merit score,” Russell said. The rolled-up data is then used as a primary data source to generate analytics.
Finding the Right Metrics
The Thomson Reuters Journal Impact Factor gave MPH’s publications score a well-researched foundation. Fortunately, with visualizations, MPH can use heat maps to check whether the metrics within its process for teaching and service create a score that makes sense. “We took the dean’s logic on how to weight faculty activities and put it into an automated, consistent model,” Russell said.
For example, MPH recognized that student course evaluation responses were influenced by class size, so that was built into the model to weight course evaluations. “If you find someone outside the norm, that’s where you start conversations,” Russell said. “If an individual is below expectations, you can have a corrective conversation. If someone is successfully achieving high ratings in large classes, you can model their teaching behaviors and share them.”
Surfacing Actionable Information
MPH went beyond analysis of individual faculty. “We developed a heat map of all individuals sorted by publication contribution score so we could rank them by percentile relative to others in their department or the school,” Russell said. This allows deans and faculty themselves to see how an individual compares to peers in the institution. “We spent time discovering our data—what we already have in Activity Insight. We discovered that we could identify high performers. These are people you want to generate discussions with to pick up on what they’ve been doing and what they think is successful,” Russell said.
Faculty with the same score may get that number in different ways. For example, they might get the same score for four or five articles in higher-impact journals as someone else got for 25 publications in lesser journals. “But if you can get the same score, why do 25? Talk with those who are more efficient and find out how they do it,” Russell said.
Quality Data Is the Ballgame
Russell credits Activity Insight with the increasing data quality and quantity that allows MPH to create insight through analytics. “We’ve moved away from manual processes to do more value-added and strategic mission work,” Russell said. “Now we can provide the relative value. A number is just a number. The value comes from context.” Using analytics, MPH creates rankings, projections, forecasts and exceptions they can use to better understand how individual faculty as well as the institution are performing.
“When we look at a number, we ask, ‘So what?’ and ‘What more?’” Russell said. “Reports are great, but what more can you do to aid decision-making processes? What does your faculty activity data mean in the process you’re aiding?”
Value to Many Stakeholders
The analytics MPH created in Tableau have value across the institution, Russell noted. Because the data is all there, administration can drill down to better understand the numbers on an individual or department.
And MPH plans to share some of the data with faculty. “Eventually, faculty will have access to information that helps them better understand where they’ve been, where they are compared to peers from the department and peers of the same rank across the institution,” Russell said. Faculty won’t be able to look at others’ individual data, but will be able to see overall data and where they fall in the spectrum. “It’s designed to give them insight,” Russell said.
MPH’s visualizations combine all the data you can find in an annual report and takes it farther, allowing them to WHAT data, surface new insights, bringing interesting and actionable things to light. “The key to data visualizations is that they aren’t just pretty pictures,” noted Andy Glassman, Digital Measures Back End Architect. “The drilldowns show how you got a number or score. As the faculty being reviewed, you’re not just a number, so it’s important to be able to show how you got there.”
MPH implemented Activity Insight rapidly, but plans to expand its use, from additional screens for capturing activity data to using it for additional processes. It also plans to calibrate its service score. “Service is the most challenging in terms of evaluation on an impact level,” Russell said. “For example, some committees in the school carry more weight than others.” By creating heat maps, scatter plots and other visualizations, MPH is able to assess whether its current metrics accurately reflect faculty contributions. Eventually, its analytics will also be used as a forecasting tool.
Are you interested in using Activity Insight data in Tableau or other visualization tools? We’d be happy to help, so contact us here.
When the University of Michigan School of Public Health (MPH) implemented faculty activity reporting software to replace its internal faculty salary merit review system, it also took on a far more ambitious project: powering analytics with faculty activity data. The result is visualizations that represent both the quality and quantity of faculty’s teaching, research and service. Sam Russell, Business Analyst with Michigan Public Health, shared the school’s journey from internal system to visualizations of faculty performance at our recent User Group. In this post, we’ll explore MPH’s rapid Activity Insight implementation. Next time, we’ll look at how they’re using faculty activity data from Activity Insight in Tableau dashboards, showing context, ranking and analytics. Continue reading “Successful, Speedy Activity Insight Implementation with University of Michigan School of Public Health”
Choosing a faculty activity reporting solution is a big decision. And it’s common to underestimate the resources that go into implementing, maintaining and maximizing the potential of a system. That’s why a project team should be involved from the very beginning. A project team will increase your university’s success with adoption, help faculty realize the value of the system and ensure that no one is overwhelmed with the responsibility of launching the solution. Here are a few things to think about to ensure you build a successful project team. Continue reading “Creating a Successful Project Team”
Louisiana State University (LSU), the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO) are among the universities who began using Workflow for Activity Insight when it became available in July. LSU’s rollout began with sabbatical requests. UTA is rolling out Workflow to its School of Business, which already uses Activity Insight, ahead of a campus-wide rollout of Activity Insight and Workflow. UNCO, which had used Activity Insight on campus for several years, dove straight into tenure and promotion. Each shared stories of early Workflow success in a panel discussion at our recent User Group.
Here are excerpts of the conversation between Joslyn Krismer, Director of Academic Operations at UTA; Nikki McNamara, Assistant Director of Human Resources Information Systems at LSU, and Mark Smith, Associate Dean, College of Natural & Health Sciences at UNCO, moderated by Kate Kaczmarczik, Digital Measures Product Marketing Manager. Continue reading “Workflow Users Share Stories of Early Success”
Suzanne Mintz, Senior Director of Accreditation at the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) shared “All Things AACSB” at our recent User Group. Her presentation outlined the organization’s relaunched brand as well as the new guidance released in June to help schools of business better tell their stories by more fully detailing their mission, impact and future plans. Digital Measures recent collaboration with AACSB to revise the Activity Insight reporting suite for AACSB ensures it meets the new guidance, which goes into effect January 1, 2018. Here’s a look at the accreditor’s changes, and how they’ll influence the new Activity Insight reports we’re releasing in November. Continue reading “Collaboration with AACSB Informs Updated Report Suite”
When your internal faculty activity reporting system no longer meets your university’s needs, it’s a great time to take stock so you can get the maximum benefit from the solution you implement to replace it. Here are five best practices for preparing your transition from an internal faculty activity reporting system. Continue reading “5 Best Practices for Preparing to Transition From an Internal Faculty Activity Reporting System”
Our fifth annual User Group wrapped up earlier this month after notching record attendance and an unparalleled roster of presentations from clients sharing their stories of success, plus highlights including keynote speaker Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education. If you were here, reminisce a bit. If you missed it, take a look at the fun, learning and collaboration. Then sign up today—registration is now open for User Group 2018, October 7-9 in Milwaukee.
Continue reading “See the Highlights: User Group 2017”
We’re pleased to announce that faculty can now customize CVs with Activity Insight, drawing on their data in the system to create CVs for a variety of other purposes, such as grant applications, conference proposals, award nominations and more. Faculty will continue to use university-provided reports for annual reporting, promotion and tenure and other university processes, but now they can use their activity data for a wider range of projects. Continue reading “Customize Your CV With Activity Insight”
Universities have historically been trusted institutions and pillars in the communities they call home. But according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, we are in the midst of a global crisis of trust in institutions ranging from governments and media to businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). With a prevailing public sentiment of mistrust, attracting students and funding becomes more difficult. Here are five things universities can do now to build and retain the trust of your many stakeholders, from prospective students and faculty to alumni, donors and legislators. Continue reading “5 Ways Universities Can Build and Retain Trust”