Doing it By the Book: Data Segmentation, Validation, and Analysis

Y’all. Codebooks used in the research process seem insignificant, straightforward, unassuming ... and frankly ... boring. It’s technical. It’s documentation. It’s nitpicky. You split hairs in it. But guess what? They are, I argue, the most important, essential, and interesting element of a successful, rigorous, and adventuresome research process—especially with qualitative work (research dealing in words and not necessarily numbers). Wondering what in the world a codebook is? Read on.

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Puzzling through Social Data Sources

Social listening may seem simple, especially if you’re getting a pitch from a software company. Just enter your search terms, and ta-da—social data. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Each software product collects data differently, and the data that’s returned may come with nuances that aren’t obvious to the casual user. Since social listening is all that we do, I’m sharing what we’ve learned working with millions of social mentions from about over a hundred institutions. Hopefully it will help you make an informed decision about how to approach social listening for your campus.

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Digging into Social Data—Indicators & Context Clues

A savvy analyst can draw conclusions even when the data they’re presented with is limited in scope or volume. While these conclusions come with limitation disclaimers, they still offer a valuable point of consideration when you’re developing your campus strategy and identifying which problems are most in need of solutions. Research Manager Amber Sandall and Client Success Manager Beth Miller share what our analysts look for in social data when the answer to their research question isn’t always obvious at first glance as well as some specific ways that social data can inform campus decision making.

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