NSSE Custom Analysis Product Information
A benefit of participating in the NSSE project is the option to request a "Custom Analysis." Custom analyses allow for more detailed or additional comparisons between your students and those attending other institutions. This site provides basic information on our Custom Analysis options. Please contact your NSSE Project Service Team or email@example.com if you have additional questions or would like to order a Custom Analysis report. Before requesting a custom analysis, you may want to use the NSSE Report Builder, a set of interactive tools designed to create customized reports by user-selected student and institution characteristics. We have both a public version (accessible to anyone) and a secure institution version (for participating institutions to run customized reports using their own data).
A variety of reports can be requested through a custom analysis. These reports are based on the standard reports NSSE produces. A typical request will include all of the following reports:
- Engagement Indicators
- High-Impact Practices
- Frequencies and Statistical Comparisons
- Additional Questions (optional for participants in Topical Modules or a consortium)
- Respondent Profile
You can answer a number of different questions via custom analysis by redefining your population (e.g., selecting only first-generation students) and/or changing the composition of the comparison groups (e.g., selecting only private master's institutions). The following describes two typical custom analysis requests:
- How does the college experience at my institution compare to this other set of institutions?
The majority of custom analyses ask for existing reports to reflect new selected peer group(s). A selected peer group must contain at least six institutions. Because each report has three reference groups, one can choose up to three different peer groups.
Institutions may choose selected peer groups based upon a variety of factors such as the level of similarity on key institutional characteristics, institutions they aspire to be like, institutions they compete against for admitting students, and geographical proximity. When submitting a request, a list of participating schools will be provided to help identify a peer list based upon such things as admissions selectivity, public-private status, and Carnegie classification. Contact your NSSE Project Service Team for this information
- How does a particular type of student at my institution compare to similar students at other institutions?
Institutions very often want to know how particular students on campus engage in educationally beneficial practices, whether they are Honors students, students from particular academic majors/schools or those that have participated in a special orientation program. Many times information from the existing NSSE dataset can be used to redefine the institution and reference group population. For instance, an institution could compare first-generation students to other first-generation students in their peer groups.
In other cases, NSSE will not have the pertinent information upon which to identify certain sub-populations for an analysis, thus necessitating that an institution provide an appropriate identifier. Before a NSSE administration such identifiers can be submitted during the population file submission process using the group variable option (contact your NSSE Project Service Team for more information). No additional charges will be incurred for institutions providing such identifiers during the population file submission process. After a NSSE administration such identifiers can be submitted as a separate file with both the relevant identifier and unique NSSE identification variable. Extra charges may be incurred because of the additional complexity associated with merging such separate files.
Keep in mind that custom analyses are for comparing your students with those of other institutions. They are not meant for intra-institutional analyses – i.e., comparing one group of your students with another group of your students. These types of analyses are best left for campuses to address with their Institutional Research office, a faculty member with the requisite skills, or through the NSSE Report Builder mentioned above.
Submitting a Request
Requesting a custom analysis requires institutional contacts to contact their Project Service Team. Once a request has been made, a NSSE staff member will contact the requester with any follow-up questions, expected delivery date, and estimated costs. In order for work to begin, written agreement that the terms are acceptable (usually through e-mail) from the requester must be received by NSSE.
Cost, Delivery, & Payment
Typical custom analyses cost $475-725 depending on the complexity of the request. There are additional fees associated with expedited deliveries, locally-administered survey analyses, multiple-year analyses, and reports that require the merging of special identifiers (i.e., Honors or First Year Experience program participant identifiers).
Standard delivery time is approximately 6-8 weeks from the point that all report details have been finalized and the institutional contact has confirmed in writing that the terms are acceptable. Delivery may be slower during certain times of the year such as late summer and early fall. All custom analysis requests are delivered electronically through the NSSE Institution Interface or other secure location.
Once reports have been completed and delivered, an invoice will be sent to the requester. The requester’s contact information will be used on the invoice unless otherwise indicated when the order is placed.
The Coordinator for Custom Analyses will review each delivery request individually to determine a reasonable expected delivery date and cost.
Although the information presented on this web page is NSSE focused, other survey projects besides NSSE offer custom analysis services. If interested in a custom analysis for another survey project, contact your NSSE Project Service Team or firstname.lastname@example.org describing your needs and an appropriate staff member will reply with relevant information.