Standards Group is charged with designing, maintaining, coordinating,
and supervising the manner in which we enter and code institutional data.
Our goal is to standardize processes across computer systems and across
departments so that the institution can accurately report out information
and analyze data. The group includes representatives from key administrative
and technical offices involved in data collection at Dickinson. These
include Admissions, Development, Financial Aid, Financial Operations,
Global Education, Human Resources, Institutional Research, Institutional
Systems, Public Safety, Registrar's Office, and Residence Life. The group
is chaired by the Director of Institutional Research because that office
is ultimately responsible for external reporting and analyzing institutional
data. The group reports to and advises the Director of Institutional Systems.
Project, the Data Standards Group will develop the initial standards by
which data will be converted from current systems into Banner and how
data will be entered and coded when the system goes live. After the 1College
Project is completed, the group will continue to meet regularly to review
and improve how data are being entered and coded in all administrative
information systems (Banner, Recruitment Plus, etc.) and to deal with
any new issues or conflicts as they arise (for example, new government
reporting regulations on race and ethnicity, etc.).
Standards Group makes its decisions using the following guiding principles
in line with Dickinson's goal to be a unified and integrated college:
each department has immediate responsibility for one aspect of Dickinson,
we want to keep a unified approach to how we enter and code our data
so that the whole college can benefit from the information one office
may provide. We work for Dickinson first and our departments, second.
possible we will not "reinvent the wheel" by creating data
standards in a vacuum; but rather, we will use externally prevalent
data standards in order to facilitate efficiency and reporting. As
these external standards change, we will adjust our standards accordingly.
(For example, we will use US Postal Code standards in all US address
fields to improve mailing efficiency and to enable us to use Postal
Code software.) We will also stay alert to external trends or changes
in reporting and data submission that may impact how we enter and
code our data and revise our standards accordingly.
possible, we will reduce the impersonal "bureaucratization"
that can occur with standardized data entry by allowing for personalization
of individualized data (such as name, title, etc.). Dickinson prides
itself on personal attention and on being a community; as such we
should allow our members to choose how we address them when we have
to ensure data integrity from one person to the next, from one department
to the next, from one administrative system to the next, and from
one year to the next. In order to do this, we will design standards
that make sense for data entry staff as well as for data reporting
and analysis. We will provide documentation for departments to use
to train and supervise data entry staff and for technical staff to
use as a reference guide. We will work to mediate any conflicts that
arise between or among departments. We will try to maintain standards
from one cycle or year to the next whenever possible and reasonable
in order to allow for longitudinal analyses.