How To Keep Faculty Data Reliable and Up to Date

December 20, 2021 Watermark Insights

Access to faculty data is a vital priority for any institution of higher education. You never know when you'll need to answer a specific inquiry about faculty activities when fielding questions from media personnel, grant sponsors, donors, prospective students, or others. It can be a time-consuming and error-filled process to find faculty data when required, which is why it's necessary to invest in a dedicated faculty data solution.

Watermark's Faculty Success solution (formerly Digital Measures) offers a central data source for simplifying and organizing all faculty-related data, including research activity, tenure status, and other accomplishments. Streamlined access to this data will inform your annual faculty reviews and allow you to keep your published information current. Learn more about faculty data and why ensuring its relevance is so important.

Current Practices and Problems With Faculty Data

When it comes to faculty data sourcing, the status quo creates a few major pain points. Recognizing and addressing those issues can help you create a more efficient and useful process for accessing and utilizing faculty data.

Data is often scattered across multiple sources within and beyond an institution. Pieces of information about faculty publications, awards, and other achievements might be located across various websites, CVs, and other sources. Collecting, organizing, and presenting data in this fashion incur all kinds of issues. Most universities patch together data from various internal and external locations. It's a time-consuming and often inefficient process. Some concerns with common practices include:

  • It's a resource-heavy process: Consistently pulling data from external sources can quickly grow expensive and time-consuming, which is why most institutions rarely do it.
  • Formatting is inconsistent: When you have to gather data from multiple sources, formats are going to vary. Ensuring a standardized format is vital for clear understanding, but it can present a logistical hurdle.
  • Accuracy is not certain: The current practices for faculty data organization lend themselves to accuracy issues. For instance, it can be challenging to assign the right activities to the right faculty members, especially if two have similar names. Manual data collection and entry are bound to lead to accuracy errors. These errors can cause issues down the road. If someone needs to verify faculty information, they might come across conflicting data.
  • Timeliness is challenging: Performing this complex process is not something institutions do every day — many only do so annually. For that reason, faculty information is often out of date when it's needed. Outdated information can be a significant concern when addressing inquiries or writing grant applications.

As you can see, a better process for faculty data updating is necessary. Using dedicated tools will help you streamline and simplify your faculty data.

Tips for Keeping Faculty Data Up to Date

to keep your faculty data accurate and current, it's essential to use a faculty activity insights tool - woman on laptop with statement necklace

To keep your faculty data accurate and current, it's essential to use a faculty activity insights tool. Our Faculty Success tool keeps your information front and center, allowing you to update faculty data year-round. You'll find the system can help you accomplish all of the following:

  • Simplify data entry: One key benefit of the Faculty Success tool is that it helps faculty keep their profiles recent. To refresh their information, all faculty members have to do is upload their latest CVs. It's a much quicker and easier process than manual data entry. They can update or review their data at any time and within moments. The streamlined process can save your institution hours of time so faculty can focus on meaningful tasks rather than painstaking data entry.
  • Inform faculty reviews: Our system also features intuitive drag-and-drop tools to mirror your established review policies. These features make it easy to access articles, accomplishments, and previous reviews for accurate faculty evaluation. The Faculty Success tool connects directly with the Course Evaluations & Surveys tool (formerly EvaluationKIT), which helps build a stronger understanding of faculty performance. In that way, it informs faculty reviews and major decisions.
  • Receive automatic updates: You'll also enjoy automatically populated web profiles based on faculty-uploaded CVs. You can share and celebrate faculty accomplishments while saving time and resources. Keeping your faculty information updated online helps you put your best foot forward, which may help you earn financial resources or entice prospective students.
  • Complement the Watermark product suite: We've designed our Faculty Success tool to accompany our product suite. With combined programs, you can have a streamlined and effective process.

Why Having Reliable Faculty Information Is Important

Institution leaders should understand the significance of keeping faculty information updated. It's an essential priority for any university. Here are a few reasons why reliable faculty data is always crucial:

  • Data guides decisions: One of the most important things about data is that it informs decisions, allowing university administrators to make precise judgments for the betterment of their institution.
  • Data helps secure financial resources: You'll need access to faculty data for grant applications and donor transparency. Reliable faculty information helps you secure financial resources by providing honesty and organization.
  • Data creates a better user experience: Well-organized, updated data is necessary for your website. Users should always have access to this information. Many different individuals search for faculty information — such as potential students, parents of students, journalists, and stakeholders. Each of these users should have access to accurate faculty data.
  • Data enables celebration of faculty accomplishments: Data holds importance beyond its practical implications — it also gives you the tools to celebrate faculty accomplishments in a timely manner. Your highest achieving faculty members will feel recognized and appreciated. As an added benefit, prospective students, donors, and others will be aware of your faculty's achievements.
  • Data measures an institution's total impact: Accurate, up-to-date data gives an institution the tools to measure its total impact — and represent it to the world. Combined faculty achievements showcase your university's effect on academia.

Request a Demo of Watermark's Faculty Success Solution

Access to timely, accurate faculty activity reporting data is a major priority for any institution. Reliable faculty data helps you make decisions, perform useful faculty reviews, keep stakeholders informed, and celebrate your faculty's accomplishments. Data is a powerful resource in countless ways. For that reason, ensuring your information is always current and accessible is vital.

If you're looking for a way to improve your faculty data organization, consider using our Faculty Success program. Our tool combats the pain points of status quo data collection by making the process easy, integrating with other solutions, and producing automatic website content. Maximize the impact of your faculty information and see our solution in action — request a demo today.

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