CDS Publications

Benchmarking Report and Almanacs

View data comparisons quickly; integrate data into your presentations more easily.

CDS Benchmarking Report

The 2016 CDS Benchmarking Report includes more than 40 slides that are preloaded with 2016 data. These data can help you answer the questions that are most commonly used in IT strategic planning, such as:

  • What is a practical range for total budget based on my institution type, population, and budget?
  • Do I have the appropriate budget to retrain current staff?
  • What services should I provide?

How to Use the Report

  1. First, download your data in the CDS Portal. You will use this data set to add your data to the report slides.
  2. Next, go to the report PPT and choose the slides that align with the topics you’re covering.
  3. View the question number in the slide notes, and pull that data from your spreadsheet.
  4. Right click on slide graphics to add your institution’s data.
  5. See how your institution compares to others.
  6. Integrate these customized slides into presentations and reports.

If you did not participate in CDS this year, you can still use the report as a first step to benchmarking your IT organization. When you complete the CDS survey, you’ll gain access to data in the CDS Portal that is customized to the peer groups you’ve created specifically for your institution.

Previous reports:

* Beginning in 2011, CDS reports and communications use the year in which data were collected and analyzed. While this change results in the appearance of a skipped year, the Core Data Service runs sequentially, with no years skipped.

CDS Almanacs

These two-page summaries distill CDS survey data into categories that include IT financials, staffing, and services, and many other service areas. Data Almanacs are released annually.* Trends Almanacs are released every two years (the next release will be 2017).


Map CDS Data to the Top 10 IT Issues

If you integrate the annual EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues into your planning, you can map CDS data that aligns to those issues. For examples of CDS data that map to the top IT issues, see the About CDS page.

Dig Deeper into Your Data with Custom Analytics

Need decision support? Work with our research staff to create a proposal based on ECAR and CDS data and tailored to meet your needs. With custom analytics, you can increase the value of EDUCAUSE research and benchmarking data, gain a deeper understanding of your business questions, and inform decisions core to the success of your organization.  Learn More >

Do Your Own Analysis

CDS participants can compare data with peers, view graphs and tables, download detailed reports, and look up responses to individual questions with the CDS Portal. Learn More >

Look Deeper: ECAR Analysis of Core Data

EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research analysts distill CDS survey data findings into research publications, including the Enterprise Application Market series and the Digital Capabilities series. View all ECAR research.

    Benchmarking Basics

    Using metrics to benchmark higher education IT financials, staffing, and services can add value by informing and reinforcing the decision-making process. Learn how:

    2016 Benchmarks

    For all US non-specialized institutions

    How does your spending compare?

    • Total central IT spending per institutional FTE (students, faculty, and staff) = $993

    • Total central IT spending as percentage of institutional expenses = 4.5%

      • Percentage of institutions with a 5% or greater increase in central IT spending = 46%

      • Percentage of institutions with a 5% or greater decrease in central IT spending = 30%

    How does your "running the trains" spending compare?

    • Central IT spending on in-house infrastructure and services = 34% (Median)

    • Central IT spending on external providers = 4% (Median)

    • Percentage of central IT spending on running the institution = 80%

    How does the size of your IT org compare?

    • Central IT FTEs per 1,000 institutional FTEs = 8.4

    • Student workers as a percentage of total central IT FTE = 20%