Now on the Menu: Data Bytes

This post marks the launch of a new EDUCAUSE Review column. Here the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research team will present research notes, data nuggets, and reflections on IT in higher education. The typical ECAR publication is a report, which can be fairly long and cover a wide range of topics. Here, we will present research findings in a much shorter form.

Each post will focus on a single question, issue, finding, or data point. Some posts will include things that ended up on the cutting room floor, so to speak, when we were working on a research report or brief. (Our reports are long enough as it is; be glad we cut some stuff!) Some posts will share ideas we had that were out of scope for a report, so we shelved them to pursue later… and later is when we post that blog. Some posts will be what we here in ECAR call dabbits: data rabbits that we're chasing down their holes. Some posts will be methodological, discussions of issues around how we collect, clean, or analyze data. Some posts will be timely, such as our first solid post, following Equal Pay Day. Stay tuned for that one, in a few days.

Let me introduce the ECAR team who will be contributing to this column:

Maybe you've seen the names Jeffrey Pomerantz and Christopher Brooks before. He and I are the principal investigators for many ECAR research studies and the authors on several ECAR reports. We'll both be contributors here. But several others work behind the scenes, and without them ECAR's work would not be possible. These folks will also be contributors. Kate Roesch is ECAR's data visualization specialist; she creates the figures in ECAR reports and is responsible for the graphic look and feel of ECAR's online presence. Ben Shulman and Mike Roedema are statisticians for ECAR; they clean our data, which as any researcher knows, is about 85 percent of the effort in any research project, and make sure our findings are reported accurately. Jamie Reeves is ECAR's program manager, though her contributions go far beyond merely managing; hers is the invisible hand that keeps so many of our research projects in equilibrium. We may also, from time to time, invite guests from other focus areas within EDUCAUSE, and from across the profession as a whole, to write posts. This blog will provide a platform for all of these voices, voices often hidden by the production process.

ECAR is of course much more than just the research arm of EDUCAUSE. Under the ECAR umbrella we have many operations and services: analytics, information security, enterprise IT, working groups, and a whole host of other functions. Some of these areas have their own blogs, such as the Security Matters and Enterprise Connections columns in EDUCAUSE Review. The scope of this blog, therefore, is research. Just research. Sometimes with a bit of fun — Data Bytes will be the place where we here in ECAR really geek out. We hope it whets your appetite for research and data.


Jeffrey Pomerantz is a principal investigator for the EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research.

© 2017 Jeffrey Pomerantz. The text of this blog is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0.