Starting the New Year with a Strategic Approach: Elevating Our Office’s Data and Project Management Goals


As we step into the new year at Marshall University, it is an opportune moment to set forth a roadmap for the Office of Institutional Research and Planning, focusing on enhancing the campus’ capabilities in data literacy, our office’s project management, and community engagement, along with the exciting addition of a new business intelligence/data analyst role.

Data Literacy Education for the Campus

Data literacy is pivotal in today’s data-driven world. We aim to empower the campus community with the skills to understand, analyze, and utilize data effectively.  Our office will be organizing regular sessions covering basic data literacy concepts, tools, and applications relevant to different departments. We are currently developing a new set of online reports/visualizations that will be made available to the campus community via our website and will include tutorials and a data dictionary.  Finally, our office will work closely with academic departments to integrate data literacy into their training/practices.

Better Project Management/Documentation Within Our Office

Efficient project management is key to our office’s success, ensuring that projects are completed on time and within scope. This is a practice that has been lacking in our office over the years.  IRP has already implemented a web-based project/report request system and it was beta-tested at the end of 2023.  This will be pushed in the upcoming months and internally our team will be tracking progress on projects within Teams using Microsoft Planner for better task tracking and resource allocation.  As a team, we will also meet face-to-face monthly to review project progress and address any issues.

Welcoming Ideas from the Campus Community for Continued Report Production

Innovation thrives on diverse ideas. Encouraging the campus community to contribute ideas for report production can lead to more relevant and impactful outcomes.  This has always been done through additions to MU BERT, but this should now expand to include visualizations and a new way of thinking about what is possible with our data, tools, and skillsets for not only reporting individual student data but planning through the use of predictive analysis and summative data.  Faculty, staff, and students can submit their ideas for projects and provide feedback on our progress to ensure what we are doing is clear and that we are taking our information to the next level.

Bringing on a New Business Intelligence/Data Analyst Staff Member

The addition of a new business intelligence/data analyst staff member is a significant step towards bolstering our data and reporting capabilities. We cannot wait to complete the search process and onboard our new staff member.


The start of a new year is a perfect time to set ambitious, yet achievable goals. By focusing on these key areas, we can enhance our office’s efficiency, foster a data-literate campus culture, and embrace the wealth of ideas from our community, all while strengthening our team with a new member.

Here’s to a year of growth, learning, and success with data!

Brian M. Morgan
Chief Data Officer, Marshall University

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