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IT Solutions for Faculty Activity Reporting

Interfolio Faculty180

Content originally published on data180.com. Learn more about Interfolio’s acquisition of Data180 here.

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Colleges and universities are helping faculty and administrators make their work lives easier and more productive by adopting online IT solutions for managing faculty data. These solutions allow information typically found in faculty CVs (e.g. credentials; teaching, research, and service activities) to be collected faster and easier, while providing unsurpassed flexibility in reporting to support internal and external stakeholders.

Following are some of the top benefits of data collection and data use provided by online faculty activity solutions:

Benefits of Data Collection

  • Faculty data can be collected in one location. Multiple information sources can be merged into one “faculty data hub.” Examples of data typically imported or entered include HR data, bibliographic citations, grants data, course evaluation results, and data entered by faculty and administrators.
  • Faculty members enter their data just once. Institutional data requests can be satisfied without making multiple (and redundant) data requests from faculty members, leaving them more time to focus on value-added activities, including teaching, research, and service.
  • Data can be collected for multiple-use output. Because online systems allow faculty data to be collected in parsed data fields (e.g. a journal article being broken into author first name, author last name, journal title, review type, etc.), schools have more flexibility in ways the data can be reported. This level of flexibility is not available to users when the same data is collected in word processing software or in a PDF file.

Benefits of Data Use

  • Data can be repurposed and reported for multiple users. Because of the nature of the data and the way it is collected, online IT solutions can create many types of output from the same data, including CVs, biosketches, accreditation reports, ad hoc reports, and custom reports.
  • Decision support can be enhanced. Because all, or nearly all, faculty data is in one repository, administrators can spend less time hunting and compiling data and more time analyzing and responding to the evidence. In addition, this environment can result in better decisions and better management of faculty resources.
  • Collaboration, networking and outreach are enhanced. Faculty data can be accessed using word search tools within the online faculty application and from outward facing systems (such as websites), to find colleagues with similar or complementary interests and skills. The search features also allow academics at other institutions, as well as government and business entities, to find the expertise they are looking for and to reach out to those individuals.
  • Workflows for faculty performance appraisals. Annual reviews, promotion, tenure, and sabbatical workflows have historically been manual, paper-based processes. With online IT solutions collecting faculty data in one online repository, evaluations can be conducted electronically, saving faculty members time and eliminating logistical and security issues for administrators.
  • Support for the institutional repositories. The data collected in online faculty reporting systems can be pushed to support other databases on campus, such as institutional reporting (usually generated by the institutional research unit on campus) and research and scholarly data repositories, such as DSpace and VIVO.

Because of the technological innovations in this software genre, the use of online IT solutions for managing faculty data have a great deal of promise for academic institutions.

Content originally published on data180.com. Learn more about Interfolio’s acquisition of Data180 here.