Creating a Census Reporting Database


Develop an automated, efficient and user-friendly method for reporting census data.

Census data is the primary source of information for Kirkwood Community College. In addition to state and mandated federal reporting, census data is used to provide institution leaders with student information and allows users to compare two different points in time (i.e. Spring 2009 vs. Spring 2010). Reporting census data at Kirkwood Community College was a manual, labor intensive process. Using Colleague, the institution would copy an entire database to extract queries and information. Due to the volume of data extracted, the institution could not store this information on its server and needed an alternative solution.

After winning 40 hours of free institutional research services from IData at the 2009 Association of Institutional Research Conference, Kirkwood decided to use this opportunity to automate the census reporting process to ensure repeatable results and reduce the burden for staff members responsible for gathering information. Kirkwood wanted a reporting tool with one, central location that would allow multiple users to access data. This data warehouse would reduce the amount of time the Institutional Effectiveness Director would have to spend filtering reporting and access requests.


Given IData’s experience of bridging Institutional Research and IT, Kirkwood directed IData’s services towards converting its manual process into an efficient, automated reporting process. Microsoft’s SQL  Server Integration Services were used to transform their data from Colleague into a new data model designed for Kirkwood’s census reporting. The data model contained all the elements needed by Kirkwood and provided a simple structure for reporting.

“Partnering with IData provided a solution that will save us time and effort in our future reporting endeavors. Given his experience and knowledge of working with Datatel systems, Scott understood our needs and provided a simple, clear and understandable solution,” said Jane Snook, Senior Information Analyst in the Institutional Effectiveness Office.


Institutional Research directors, Institutional Effectiveness senior analysts, IT staff and reporting teams have already incorporated IData’s Census Reporting Database into the institution’s reporting process. Serving as the data reporting foundation, this database will be built upon, incorporate more end users and modeled into other usable processes.