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Home » Discover Rackham » Rackham Team Highlights Tech Adaptability, Culture at National Conference

A team representing Rackham Institutional Research (IR) and Rackham Program Review (RPR) delivered presentations at the recent Association for Institutional Research (AIR) Annual Forum in Denver. The forum is the largest gathering of higher-education professionals working in institutional research in the world.

IR Director John Gonzalez, with programmers Carrie Brezine and Conroy Baltzell, presented on Rackham’s efforts to adapt the data visualization platform Tableau to the needs of the graduate school in “Hacking Dashboards: Advanced Tools to Automate and Customize Tableau.” The presentation centered on navigating the challenge of adopting new, more efficient software while retaining the customized solutions to specific issues developed while using previous tools.

“The annual AIR Forum provides an opportunity for Rackham to showcase the innovative approaches we take to share and display data,” Gonzalez says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with, and learn from, our colleagues from a host of institutions across the globe.”

A slide from the presentation on adapting Tableau to the needs of Rackham Graduate School illustrating how data is taken from the web and processed through the software.

In their presentation “Building an Institutional Data Culture: Fostering Natural Partnerships,” Gonzalez and RPR Director Ida Faye Webster later discussed approaches to shaping institutional culture around data through collaboration with the programs that use institutional data.

“The AIR Conference provided an opportunity for us to share how Rackham strengthens a data culture by cultivating relationships and partnerships across campus consistent with our values,” Webster says. “We had a dynamic conversation with leaders across the educational landscape about their challenges and successes in aligning practices with organizational needs.”

Rackham Institutional Research supports Rackham leadership and interfaces with other U-M offices to provide guidance and support for graduate education, and works with national organizations to implement and disseminate best practices across the spectrum of graduate education.

Visit the Institutional Research and Program Review sections of the Rackham website to learn more about their work.

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