Strategies for Leading Special Topic Analyses in IR

These are unusual times. Most campus leaders are consumed with decision-making and planning surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. The plans you may have had on your calendar are no longer there. And some people and departments are in limbo. Many of us are awaiting further instructions and for key leaders to be available for a meeting to move forward on regularly scheduled projects.

IEHE is working to support institutional research and data analytic needs during these challenging times. As such, we are providing a public forum and resource list to help leaders think ahead to upcoming analyses that will be of use to their campuses.

Leading the Charge on Emerging Special Topic Analyses

One of the things we at the IEHE have been thinking about is how we can support IR professionals as they proactively plan for and address unique data needs in difficult circumstances. Of course, there are all the ‘business-as-usual’ IR demands. Those aren’t going away, though their timelines may shift. We recently offered some tips for keeping the ball rolling on expected data needs.

But as you know, it is also important to anticipate what is to come. Since these kind of events are unprecedented, we must try to prepare for what we will want and need to know as time goes on. What will our stakeholders– institutional leadership, students, our communities — be trying to make sense of and learn from? There will certainly be requests for special topic analyses surrounding the impact of the coronavirus on students and the institution. So, we’ve developed this short guide to breaking down the strategies/steps for jumping in to address these new questions.


Flyer outlining strategies for leading special topic analyses in IR during challenging times. Including 1) Anticipate needs 2) Craft the research direction 3) Identify questions 4) Share your ideas 5) Share your findings


The Institute for Effectiveness in Higher Education (IEHE) innovates and improves higher education standards through our strategic research, publicly available resources, and partnerships with colleges and universities. We provide extensive expertise on data strategy, IPEDS, institutional research and student success to drive institutional effectiveness.