“Our campus recreation department is so radically different from every other school, I don’t really see the value in comparing our facilities, programs, participation rates, or operations with those of other schools,” says no college or university administrator ever. Whether you are requesting support for to pursue a new student fee or expand your facility, justifying a program or service, or reporting your successes or failures, we all know the value of good data. And that data becomes even more powerful when we can benchmark it against the data of peers.

The comparative results feature is now available to participating members of the NIRSA Institutional Data Set! Participating NIRSA members may now access question-by-question comparisons of their data against other member institutions using the ‘See How I Compare’ section of the IDS platform.

However, to access these comparative results, your institution must have completed at least 50% of all the IDS modules.  If your institution achieved a completion rate of 50% or greater for the previous year, but you have not entered data for this year, please remember that data entry is now easier than ever!

To quickly update your FY2015-16 profile, simply log-in, select any module and then click the ‘Copy Prior Year Data’ link located below the year display. All of your data from the prior year will be automatically transferred to the current year; remember to update any items that changed from FY2014-15, such as participation rates and operations data. Once you hit the 50% threshold, your comparative results will become available.

Personalized peer clusters and reports coming soon

Participating institutional member schools will soon be able to filter their benchmarking results by creating personalized peer clusters and running personalized reports for the 2015-16 school year. This feature however, requires substantial participation from members in every corner of the Association.

Members in regions that do not reach sufficient participation minimums will not have access to filtering capabilities within their own region. This means that members will only have the benefit of accessible data for the purpose of making data-driven decisions about potential construction projects, or changes in programs and services, or other operations if their colleagues at surrounding member institutions also participate.

Professional member and Associate Director of Programming, Education, and Evaluation at The University of Tennessee, Sean Basso says, “It [the IDS] gave our external program review team a variety of metrics and benchmarks that served as reference points which enhanced their evaluation of our department. It is the data in data-driven decision-making.”

This kind of data-driven decision-making around specific aspects of campus recreation is only possible due to the active participation of members within Sean’s region and across the Association. Consider participating in the IDS to strengthen the value of this benchmarking tool for members within your region and across the Association; sign on to the NIRSA Institutional Data Set today.

Support for the IDS is provided by the NIRSA Foundation

The NIRSA Institutional Data Set is supported by the generosity of donors to the NIRSA Foundation. Through fundraising and stewardship efforts, the NIRSA Foundation strives to enhance the effectiveness of collegiate recreation by providing NIRSA members with meaningful opportunities for scholarship, research and professional development.

Your contribution nurtures tomorrow’s leaders in collegiate recreation—help shape the future of our profession by making a donation today. Donations to the NIRSA Foundation are tax-deductible.


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA’s Research Coordinator Ruben Guzman.
Research Coordinator at |

Ruben Guzman is currently the Research Coordinator at NIRSA