The University of Tennessee System Institutional Research (IR) oversees the management, storage and governance of UT System Administration data used for decision support, planning, reporting and analytical studies.

What is Institutional Research?

Institutional research is research conducted within an institution of higher education to provide information which supports institutional planning, policy formation, decision making and serve the governance responsibilities which reside within the system (Saupe, 1990).

 

Role and Function

UT System Institutional Research:

  • manages the creation of University System Administration data policy and supporting processes and tools;
  • organizes and facilitates a Systemwide committee overseeing data governance;
  • works with System executive officers to integrate data strategy into strategic planning and operational decision-making;
  • develops policies to increase University System Administration accessibility to data for analytics;
  • encourages a Systemwide culture of data driven decision making;
  • collaborates with IT security, legal, audit and other key administrative officers to ensure that the data management and use complies with regulatory requirements and security policies;
  • serves to facilitate collaboration between University System Administration and each of the campuses to ensure data standardization and reporting alignment
  • works directly with campus-level institutional research directors to serve as recognized points of contact for sharing data, creating common data definitions, identifying discrepancies and data validation.

 

Services

We provide data and analyses related to students, faculty, staff, research, finance, alumni and facilities. See data.tennessee.edu for examples. If you are interested in requesting data, please complete our Data Request form.

All data is stored in the UT System’s Consolidated Data Repository.

Data source systems (IRIS, ANDI, Banner, and others) feed into the first layer, Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) and Data Quality Checking, powered by Microsoft SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS).
After passing quality check data is stored in a staging environment, Data Warehouse, and Consolidated Data Repository, all powered by Microsoft SQL Database Engine.
A data dictionary for all sources and definitions is maintained independently for this data model.
Semantic models powered by Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) interpret information from the Consolidated Data Repository for a presentation layer. These take the form of data visualizations, including reports and dashboards generated with the Power BI reporting service.

 

Partners

IR partners have offices across the UT System to gather information and data. Primary partners include the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and each campuses’ institutional research offices: UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga, UT Martin and UT Health Science Center.