Analytics & Business Intelligence

Rankings, Benchmarking, and External
Data Collection

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Presentation Handouts

Medical School Rankings - Matthew Comstock

US News & World Report, Undergraduate Rankings - Ruth Kallio

Matthew Comstock, Senior Financial Analyst for Medical School Administration, and Ruth Kallio, Associate Director of Institutions Research, Budget & Planning Office, presented Rankings, Benchmarking & External Data on November 14. A discussion among attendees from different U-M colleges and units, such as Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, Rackham Graduate School and the Law School, followed. Several key issues were discussed based on attendees’ challenges and solutions:

1. Domestic (e.g. US News) and international surveys impact a school’s public reputation. It’s difficult to ensure consistency in interpreting and responses to surveys.

Some units are centralizing responses to all surveys.

2. The structure of survey questions is often vague and misinterpreted reported answers can have significant impact.
Better skills are needed for the analysis, though sometimes unavailable.
3. Units struggle with finding comparable benchmark data from organizations; which makes it difficult to use the data to improve the unit.
More guidelines about when and how to set the right targets are needed.
4. Units have trouble with the manual collection and retention of external benchmarking data from multiple sources, along with consolidating the data in a useful manner.
By creating benchmarking data marts or combining local database applications, data is better organized.
5. Some faculty struggle with productivity and publication management.
Cross school/college cooperation might lead to a more comprehensive solution for the wider community rather than bringing in external organizations to resolve the problem.

Attendees collectively agreed this presentation was beneficial to their jobs and they could apply what they learned as stated in the survey results. They also reported both the speakers and their presentations were informative.

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