Institutional Research and Planning
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a research request?
We try to think about research as an organized and systematic way of finding answers to questions. Typically, a research request would require: 1) the extraction of data from an existing source (e.g. Banner or SIS) or 2) the collection of data (e.g. surveys or focus groups). A research request may involve documenting change over time or establishing baseline numbers to reach a better understand about specific outcomes.
When I make a request, where does the data come from?
If you are making a request based on existing data, if you are asking for information prior to Summer 2010, we will be working in the old database based on the SIS+ and Maui systems. If your request involves data from Summer 2010 and forward, data will be pulled from the Banner database. Thus, if your data request spans both time frames, we will be working with two databases. Note that such a request may lengthen the amount of time for your results.
How long does it take for a request to be filled?
It depends. The response time can vary depending on the current workload and the difficulty involved in accessing the data requested. Ideally, you want to build in as much time as possible and we will respond as quickly as we can. Feel free to contact the College Researcher if there are any questions or concerns about timeliness.
Where can I find basic demographic information about Foothill College and its students?
Try the Fast Facts sheet and the Fact Book located under the Data tab on the District Institutional Research & Planning website (http://research.fhda.edu).
Why does it take so long to get the data I need?
Understandably, you would like to have your requests filled as soon as possible so that you can use the desired information. With the migration to Banner, we are still learning how the database is being populated. As you know, the way the data is entered, coded, and recorded is different in SIS+ and Banner so we are encountering a bit of a learning curve. In a way, we are like detectives trying to follow a trail of clues. As we become more familiar with the new database, we aim to become more efficient in our response to research requests. Until then, we ask for your patience and understanding. We will keep you posted on the state of your request and any specific challenges we may encounter.
Who do I contact if I still have questions?
College Researcher, Foothill College