Institutional Research Continuing Education at PNAIRP

Data and Strategy Associate, Steve Selk, in the Office of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis, attended the Pacific Northwest Association for Institutional Research and Planning (PNAIRP) in Spokane earlier this November. This was the first in-person conference for PNAIRP since 2019 and an excellent opportunity for our institutional research attending staff to learn from their peers and guest speakers.  

Steve is one of the first points of contact for WSU faculty and staff looking to find WSU Institutional Research data, and a great resource for the WSU community in navigating and understanding our data dashboards.

“While the sessions were valuable and informative, one of the things I appreciated most about the conference was interacting with like-minded people who have similar experiences, challenges, and successes related to the work that we do in Institutional Research at WSU,” Selk said. “Exposure to other perspectives and practices related to data collection, reporting, and planning was great.”

Conference Presentations

  • Eastern Up Close – Creating a Data-Informed Culture
  • The Pre-Pop Effect – Enrolling Students
  • PowerBI vs. Tableau – IPEDS Data Viz Smackdown
  • From Data Oligarch to Data Democracy
  • Let the Data Flow – Recent SCOTUS ruling will not dam Institutional Diversity Efforts
  • Creating an Algorithm for Building Peer Institution Sets
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Literacy
  • Awesome SQL

Some highlights include the discussion on PowerBI vs. Tableau and exploring the two data visualization platforms. Institutional research at WSU uses both PowerBI and more recently, Tableau. The presentation on moving from data oligarch to data democracy was informative on democratizing data so that information is more widely available and accessible to those who need it. This is something that WSU has been working towards with the continued development of our Data Management Plan.

New Topics

The presentation and discussion around Artificial Intelligence Literacy was especially thought-provoking in exploring how to be better informed about AI and how institutions might prepare for the future. Learn more about WSU’s AI policies from the Office of the Provost, and how the Office of Research is exploring AI.

“The Artificial Intelligence (AI) discussion was very interesting. I’m curious to learn more about how it works, what the future holds, and how it will impact and influence the work that we do,” Steve said.

Conference attendance and continuing education are important components of professional development for our staff and their continued success in the Office of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis.

Explore WSU’s Institutional Research data and dashboards at

Eija Sumner photo

About the Author

Eija Sumner is the Strategic Communication Coordinator in the Office of Strategy, Planning, and Analysis (OSPA) at Washington State University.