Data Use Cases

Use Data to Analyze Your IT Environment

Contributing data in the annual survey gives you access to identifiable data for the modules you completed. To analyze the data, you create peer groups and pull reports that help you benchmark your organization and compare against other institutions. 

See an EDUCAUSE Research Snapshot infographic with examples of the kinds of questions CDS helps you answer. 

How Your Peers Have Used CDS Data

Benchmark IT Spending

“We were able to use a metric of IT costs per institutional FTE for each institution to include in an assessment of where IT spend at our campuses were against the CDS data. While it didn't lead to more budget, it did open some eyes that we weren't way out of whack or that we were depending on the campus.”

“We pulled together year-to-year spending at the institution. When I first arrived, no one really knew how much the institution was spending on technology and what we were spending it on. Using CDS allows for a structured and defined method for determining the spending that is occurring on campus. It also allowed an opportunity to bring in the Finance department to look at all institutional IT spending and benchmark that over time.”

Compare Support for Key Service Areas

“We were asked how our central IT staffing and expenditures in the area of Cybersecurity compared with other research intensive universities in our region. Enough of our peers had provided domain-level IT expenditure and IT FTE data for several years that we were able to produce a high-level summary, which showed that we were resourcing this critical area at a level comparable to our peers. I anticipate this becoming an annual exercise given the continued and increasing emphasis on security.”

Unsure what CDS data can help you do? Check out the 2017 CDS Survey Guide. Experienced participants suggest uses for data collected in the "IT Organization, Staffing, and Financing" module.

Integrate Data into Reports and Plans

“As part of an annual report to the trustees I benchmarked key staffing and financial ratios with our recognized peer institutions. This served as an ongoing way to treat IT similar to other major areas of the institution.”

Institutions have also used these data in reports and strategic plans:

  • Budget and funding

  • Operations and infrastructure

  • Support of teaching and learning

  • Information security staffing

  • Run/Grow/Transform ratio

  • Central IT training

  • Higher education systems market share

Want to Integrate Data into Presentations?

The 2016 CDS Benchmarking Report is a customizable slide deck that makes it easy to integrate data into presentations. The deck includes 40+ slides that are preloaded with 2016 data. The data help you answer questions commonly used in IT planning. Even if you did not participate in CDS this year, you can use the report as a first step to benchmarking your IT organization.

Previous Reports

Custom Analytics

Need decision support? Work with our research staff to develop a custom analytics proposal that is based on ECAR and CDS data.

EDUCAUSE Live! Webinar

Planning for Growth: Using Benchmarks to Support Sustainable Funding and Staffing
Wednesday, September 27, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. ET

Several IT leaders behind the Core Data Service discuss how they use key benchmarks to inform planning and how to collect the data.

Register Now

Consortia Participation

These higher ed organizations know that greater member participation means greater benchmarking value.


  • AAU

  • AJCU

  • APLU

  • BTAA

  • CLAC


  • Internet2


  • WCET

Contact us to learn the benefits of achieving 40 percent participation in the survey.

Contact Us

303-449-4430 (Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. MT)