Professional News

Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics Hosts Open Lab Sessions

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 6, 2017) — University of Kentucky Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics (IRAA) hosts Open Lab sessions from 9-11 a.m. on the first and third Friday of each month in Room 108 of the Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building. Sessions are open to all campus customers and partners. 

An introductory Tableau training is available at the beginning of each lab for all in attendance. At the end of the first hour, attendees break out into groups and members of the IRAA team answer questions and help with issues analyzing institutional data.

The second hour of Open Lab is used to update customers on changes to data models, processes or reports. While each session is different, it's also a time for discussion, presentations and feedback. Customers can contact the IRAA team if they are interested in sharing their Tableau projects and projects in progress, or if they would like to present on a specific topic in which they have an interest.

Recently, Shelby Albers, a data analyst on the IRAA team, gave an overview of analytics, available data, how to access it, and a brief tour of the Tableau Server interface.

"I enjoy presenting for our Open Lab sessions," said Albers said. "Often our customers come to Open Labs to get help solving their data issues or seeking help to create a new database. It's fun to help customers use our tools to achieve their goals; it is very fulfilling."

To view the presentation in its entirety, click here.

Adam Lindstrom, a UK data scientist, presented Psychosocial Scales as Operational Predictors of Academic Success, which was originally presented as a poster at the Association for Institutional Research Forum in Washington D.C. in June. Lindstrom discussed novel psychosocial research conducted by the IRAA Data Science team in conjunction with several UK faculty researchers.

The team has implemented the First Year Student Survey which measures a number of noncognitive traits, such as grit, self-efficacy and intelligence mindset for incoming students in an attempt to better understand if and how these traits are related to success at UK. Lindstrom's investigations have helped determine which of these constructs best predict both GPA and retention at UK, and the team is now working with their colleagues in the Academic Excellence unit to implement strategies for utilizing these data to better support UK students. The Open Lab presentation can be viewed here, while the full poster can be viewed here.

Derek Lane, senior associate dean for administrative affairs in the College of Communication and Information, also gave a presentation titled “By the Numbers.” He showcased data to highlight the performance of his college. Lane’s presentation focused on practical advice for other attendees on how the documents were put together, the audiences to which they were presented and the impact they had. While a variety of tools were used to create the reports, the IRAA team provided most of the data. The team’s goal is to transition these to standard Tableau reports moving forward for greater efficiency and broader access across the Tableau user community. To view this presentation, click here

The Institutional Research and Advanced Analytics team is a collaborative effort between the Office of the Provost's Office of Institutional Research and the Office of the EVPFA Information Technology Services’ Advanced Analytics team. Together these teams collaborate and support strategic decisions and initiatives at the university.

“We are very appreciative of the team’s hard work,” said Executive Director of Institutional Research and Lead Data Scientist Craig Rudick. “Our constituents have easier access to better data, which will ultimately lead to better decision making at the university.”

To learn more about the services provided and how they can help you, visit or contact IRAA by clicking here


UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue