Sponsored project funding drives innovation and innovation in turn drives growth; therefore organizational sponsored projects offices (SPOs), as well as their overall organizations, rely heavily on good sponsored project data collection to track and monitor sponsored project funding in order to evaluate opportunities for growth. This makes data collection one of the more important functions of an SPO. Unfortunately this is an area that typically causes headaches for the SPO and can consume an inordinate amount of time.
Here in this blog we will focus on the typical issues involving data collection, why having good data collection is beneficial to everyone and solutions to alleviate these issues/headaches.
Typical Issues with Data Collection
Typical issues faced by SPOs when evaluating data collection are:
- What data does your SPO/organization want to capture and why.
- Where (database, software solution, etc.) data is collected.
- Who (central, department, etc.) collects the data. If data is collected centrally, there tends to be more consistency in data entry as an organization and data is more controlled. If data collection is decentralized, there may be variation in how the data is managed in the different units and therefore central reporting is more challenging.
- How to consolidate the data in order to eliminate having too many different sets of data, possibly even in different formats, within the same organization and therefore no unified or complete set of data.
- How do you get people within the organization to use one chosen system to collect the data?
Typically most SPOs/organizations have at least one of these issues, if not all of them, and each one individually can significantly affect the ability of the SPO to accurately portray the sponsored projects profile of the organization. This affects those within the SPO/organization because they may not even know everything they have pending or active as a result of poor data collection. Poor data also limits the ability of an organization to pinpoint specific areas that they may excel in and that keeps them from having a more focused effort in their growth and implementation as they plan the future direction of their organization.
How Good Data Collection Helps Everyone
Having one good, reliable and comprehensive set of data involving your sponsored projects not only helps the SPO/organization but also the external constituents. The obvious benefit for the SPO/organization is that they have a complete and accurate record of active and pending sponsored projects. A reliable single, comprehensive data set also enables accurate reporting to persons within the organization (i.e. President, Vice Presidents, Marketing, etc.) as well as outside parties (i.e. Publications, Clients, Potential Clients, etc.). The ability to generate these reports enables the organization to evaluate its funding profile and identify potential missed opportunities or areas for growth. It also enables outside parties to quickly ascertain the area of expertise within the organization to identify potential partners for future funding opportunities as well as assist the organization in focusing its resources on those specific areas that have success and show potential for growth moving forward.
Solving your data collection issue is an easy three step process.
- Find a solution that fits your organization and allows you to capture the data you need.
- Ensure there is organizational buy-in. Buy-in is easier if the solution is easy to learn and use. A system that is user friendly is more likely to be used and adopted by everyone involved.
- Ensure the solution provides you the ability to analyze the data quickly and easily. You need to be able to generate reports that you can actually use and benefit your SPO/organization in its evaluation of growth opportunity.
IT Works offers a variety of data collection solutions that are innovative, easy to use, diverse in report selection, well-supported by an implementation staff with research administration experience, and competitively priced.
There are numerous customer case studies and other literature on the ease of use, implementation and added value of a solution from IT Works. For more information regarding the IT Works solution, contact our team.