Planning for a Smooth IPEDS Data Collection Cycle

With the IPEDS Winter data collection cycle nearly complete (don’t forget to hit lock by February 13!), we will soon shift our focus to preparing Spring data. While it may seem like there’s little time to take a deep breath in between the cycles, finding a little time for planning for a smooth IPEDS data collection cycle will pay dividends as we approach April’s deadlines.

To Do list with 
1. Wake Up
2. Coffee (underlined)
3. The Rest...

The rest would include planning for a smooth IPEDS data collection cycle.

Review Survey Changes

One of the easiest and most valuable ways you can get ahead of the next data collection cycle is to begin by checking out the Changes to the IPEDS Data Collection document for the current year. The document will classify the changes for you so you can quickly see additions/deletions/rewordings for each survey component, as well as a justification for the modification. This way, you don’t have to compare the data elements on your own and you won’t overlook a change until the last minute!

Pass the Information Along

Since the Changes to the IPEDS Data Collection document separates the changes by survey, you can easily share the appropriate information with the correct campus partners. Rather than just directing them to the page, you can quickly and easily copy and paste the relevant information into an email to the responsible parties for their respective surveys.

IPEDS is a Team Sport

By planning ahead for a smooth cycle and sharing changes, you show your colleagues that you are trying to make the IPEDS data collection process easier and less frustrating. In addition, you reinforce that IPEDS is a team effort and that you are available to support them, even if you’re not a Subject Matter Expert. Finally, your email can also serve as a friendly reminder of the upcoming deadline ?

Professionals in a huddle with hands in the center. Working together for a smooth IPEDS data collection cycle.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you have additional tips or techniques you use when planning for a smooth IPEDS data collection cycle!