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CASE Announces Work On Global Benchmarking Tool

Leaders at the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) announced work on a new global data resource during the council’s summit in New York City on Sunday. The announcement marks the beginning a multi-year project to provide CASE’s 3,700 member institutions with global advancement-related metrics, benchmarking, and analytics to help support strategic decision making.

AMAtlas is a further step into reporting and analytics for CASE, which currently conducts about 20 global surveys, the majority of them annually, including the Ross-CASE Survey of Charitable Giving to Universities and the CASE Compensation Survey. As part of AMAtlas, CASE has acquired the Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) annual survey and associated American and Canadian historical data and online database from the Council for Aid to Education (CAE). CAE has conducted the survey since 1957.

Ann Kaplan, VSE director for CAE, will join CASE in the acquisition. Her title will be “senior director of VSE” and she will remain based in New York City, according to Fred Weiss, chief research and data officer for CASE.

The new data resource stems out of the organization’s strategic plan, Weiss said. CASE leadership sought means of bringing together data and analytics under one roof and connecting dots for members. A study of members conducted this past winter confirmed how much members value data to inform decision making.

The ultimate goal is to build a digital toolset with which members can benchmark and set goals, Weiss said. One of the primary benefits of pooling the organization’s survey data is that it will allow institution leaders to understand developments and how their institutions stack up globally. A leader in England and a leader in Australia might be familiar with a CASE survey conducted in his or her country, but they might not yet understand how their institutions compare with one another and across continents.

The aspirational goal is to allow that benchmarking globally, not just regionally,” Weiss said.

CASE leadership anticipates launching data-collection efforts for the 2018 VSE survey later this month. Past years’ VSE data is already available to members. Incorporation of other data sources is ongoing.

Weiss anticipates it taking multiple years for CASE to gather all of the data leaders want into the new digital tool. The possibility remains that additional sources will be added along the way, either by taking on new survey projects at the request of membership or incorporating third-party data such as the U.S. Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

“If we are really good, we’ll never be done,” he said of building AMAtlas.

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