Institutional Analysis

The Office of Institutional Analysis - a unit of Planning, Budget, and Analysis - produces both descriptive reports and inferential studies to support evaluation of university operations for senior management, campus departments, and university constituents.  The office is the institutional source for tracking annual changes in census enrollment, enrollment by academic unit and student demographics, collects and coordinates information for submission to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), produces the Common Data Set (CDS) to support higher education surveys, conducts in-depth research on student success, and collaborates with Information Technology in the dissemination and online access to data via the Power BI Cloud.


Our office has transitioned to MS Power BI (PBI) for online interactive dashboard data reporting.  The following PDF document shows a sample dashboards that cover student admission data, class section enrollment tracking, census enrollment data, student retention and graduation rate data, and institutional benchmarking data: Power BI Sample Dashboards.  Here is the most recent list of data elements included in these reports.  A brief introduction on how to access PBI reports and navigate the dashboards is available here. To apply for a Power BI account, please go here.  Since our PBI reports require an account login, you may experience the functionality of PBI by visiting the the College ROI Ranking reports or the newly posted AAC&U Report.

If you have an active MS Power BI account, you may access reports online:

PBI interactive reports

Training sessions to access and navigate Power BI reports have been held for the past year, and more sessions will be held and announced to the campus community via Email alerts (no rsvp required for session participation).   The WASC Senior College and University Commission also offers full-day hands-on Power BI workshops, the next scheduled for Tuesday, January 14, 2020, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, at the Kellogg West Conference Center, Pomona, CA.

Semester Data

  • Enrollment Comparisons:  A snapshot semester headcount of student enrollment, compared year to year.  
  • Enrollment Headcount:  A snapshot semester headcount presented by College, Department and Major.
  • SCH & FTE:  Student Credit Hours and Full-Time Equivalency for a semester.

Common Data Set (CDS)

  • Common Data Set:  The CDS annual survey includes the following major sections: General college information, Enrollment & Persistence, First-Time, First-Year Admissions, Transfer Admissions, Academic Offerings & Policies, Student Life, Annual Expenses, Financial Aid, Instructional Faculty & Class Size, and Degrees Conferred.

Do Student Loans Help or Hinder Academic Success?


Applying a counterfactual analytical framework, the study estimates the influence of subsidized and unsubsidized loans on academic success of first-year students. The estimated effect of loan aid controls for first-year academic experience and takes into account 26 factors related to loan selection and persistence in order to match students with loan aid to a counterfactual case in covariate adjusted regression. Comparison with results from non-matched-sample analysis suggests selection bias may mask the negative effect of loans detected with matched-sample estimation. Validity of covariates determining the loan selection process and criteria for acceptable balance in the matched data are discussed, and implications for future research are addressed.  The full study can be downloaded here.

Methodological Advances and Issues in Studying College Impact

New Directions for Institutional ResearchHow do we move from correlation to causal inference estimation, and how do we enhance the value of student survey data? These are the questions examined in this 2014 New Directions for Institutional Research volume. For questions, contact Serge Herzog.

Measuring Student Learning: From Freshmen to College Graduates

How accurate are students’ self-assessment of their learning in college? Are student survey responses to assess their cognitive development valid measures of college success? Should we use such data for program review, professional accreditation, institutional self-studies, or to support grant proposals?

The above link takes you to the latest research volume on the validity and limitations of student self-report data, demonstrates how to identify biases in self-report data and how to measure student learning using longitudinal direct measures of academic development. For questions, contact Serge Herzog, the volume’s co-editor.

Contact Us

Contact Institutional Analysis (0204)

1664 N. Virginia Street

Reno, NV 89557

Phone (775) 784-4546

Jones Center