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ERIC Number: ED079377
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-May
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Comparability Question: Potential Uses and Misuses of Data.
Harris, Adrian H.
Higher education is now and will increasingly be faced with requests for data from a variety of sources to which it is accountable. Such data may ultimately be used in decision-making regarding the appropriation of public and private resources. Comparisons of costs and other measures among institutions will be the byword. Thus it is important that potential areas of misunderstanding and misuse of information be fully understood both by those who provide the data and those who receive it. It is not implied that such requests for data are necessarily inappropriate; in fact, if used responsibily, data comparison can also be a valuable internal decision-making tool for the institution. This paper, then, is designed for both the potential requestors of data and the members of the higher education community who will be responding to such requests. The difficulties in routine data comparisons, some of which were experienced by a six-member data exchange group, are explained. Suggestions are made concerning ways in which data comparison can be handled meaningfully. A variety of actual examples are described in some detail, including problems of both definition and analysis. Further illustration is provided in an attachment. (Author/KM)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the 1973 Forum Association for Institutional Research (Vancouver, British Columbia, May 1973)