IDR Data Sources

Data included in Institutional Data and Research (IDR) reports and dashboards come from a variety of internal and external sources. Some IDR reports and dashboards combine data from both internal and external sources.

View the Data Source section of each report or dashboard for specific details.

University of Minnesota Data

The University of Minnesota generates and collects data from numerous sources for a variety of purposes. Internal data sources include, but are not limited to:

  • Student applications and records
  • Employee applications and records
  • Financial and operational transactions
  • Sponsored research projects 
  • University-administered surveys

There are two primary UMN data types used in IDR reports and dashboards: Enterprise Data, and survey-based data.

Enterprise Data:
Enterprise Data, which is “Administrative data that the University generates or collects and utilizes for planning, decision-making, and daily operations at the institutional level (crossing organizational units and campuses)" is collected, stored, and processed from sources of truth and made available to both internal and external audiences through various reporting channels. Enterprise data excludes survey- and research-generated data.

Enterprise Data is brought through a data governance process to ensure value and consistency in operational and analytical reporting, including aligning data term definitions and practices.

University of Minnesota employees who need more detailed Enterprise Data and reporting to support operational and analytical reporting needs can search the MyU Reporting Center (login required) for available reports and dashboards.

Survey-Based Data:
The University uses surveys to collect data on individuals’ experiences and outcomes, including the Student Experience in the Research University survey (SERU), gradSERU, and the Post-Graduation survey.

Survey data can be cyclical (e.g., longitudinal survey projects, such as SERU and gradSERU surveys) or project-based (e.g., focused pulse surveys). Self-reported survey response data are integrated with the University’s central records to provide insights and promote institutional improvement.

Non-University of Minnesota Data Sources

IDR reports and dashboards may include data from external sources. Some frequently used external data sources include:

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
IPEDS, established as the core postsecondary education data collection program for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), is built around a series of interrelated survey components designed to collect institution-level data in such areas as enrollment, graduation rates, student financial aid, staffing, and finances. IPEDS collects institution-level data from providers of postsecondary education in the United States (the 50 states and the District of Columbia) and other jurisdictions, such as the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Association of American Universities Data Exchange (AAUDE)
AAUDE is a public service organization that is comprised of AAU institutions and non-AAU affiliates whose primary purpose is the annual exchange of data/information of common interest agreed upon by member institutions. The data exchanged and reports prepared by AAUDE include both public and confidential topics.