Why CDS?

Explore the Value of CDS

CDS provides unique value to higher education. EDUCAUSE members created CDS because they believe that documenting and sharing how IT is managed at colleges and universities benefits the entire IT community.

Enhance Your Decision Making Through Benchmarking

Answer Your IT Staffing, Financials, and Services Questions

How does your spending or the size of your IT organization compare to peers? Do you spend more or less than similar institutions to “keep the trains running?”

Cloud, information security, e-learning, and over 100 more IT topics are covered in the CDS survey. Review the survey questions for a comprehensive list of topics. For specific examples of what you can do with CDS data, scan the data use cases provided by your peers.

“We participate in the Core Data Service because we find the benchmarking useful to check our investments and staff allocations relative to other colleges. We used the data to help us justify upgrading our network from a 1 GB infrastructure to 10 GB including modernization of our storage, backup and firewall.” — Scott Conrad, CTO/Senior IT Director, Santa Rosa Junior College

Gain Deeper Insights with Research

EDUCAUSE members have access to research reports that analyze CDS data and assess the state of IT financials, staffing, and services and key IT service areas. View all CDS-based research.

CDS Data and Trends Almanacs — Two-page summaries that distill CDS survey data for all institutions and Carnegie class peer groups.

Enterprise Application Markets Reports and Interactive Graphic — A snapshot of market share data that reveals how higher education institutions approach various information systems.

Assess Your Digital Capabilities

Designed as a separate service, the EDUCAUSE Benchmarking Service is now integrated into CDS as the Digital Capabilities report builder. EDUCAUSE member institutions have the option to complete Capability and Technology Deployment modules while filling out the annual CDS survey or as part of special events. The data collected in these modules are used to create semi-customized benchmarking reports that assess their organization's digital capabilities and provide insight for future planning.

Digital Capabilities Reports — A view into the maturity and deployment of technology applied to the core functions of the higher education enterprise.

Created by the Community for the Community

CDS was created by EDUCAUSE members in 2002, and members have helped EDUCAUSE to evolve and improve CDS ever since. In 2017, the ECAR/CDS IT Organization, Staffing, and Financing Working Group created the 2017 CDS Survey Guide to help you complete the required IT Organization, Staffing, and Financing module more efficiently. The guide provides insight on individual questions and tips for collecting and estimating data.

Additional working groups also updated the IT support services, research computing, and information systems and applications optional modules in 2017, with the intent to make them more relevant and easier to complete. The Analytics Services Design Panel periodically tests the data portals and provides opinions on analytics services.

Contact us with questions, feedback, or to join a member group.

Analytics Services Staff Are Here to Help

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

2017 Timeline

  • February-July: 2016 data, reports released

  • July 18: Survey opens

  • October 13: Survey deadline

  • January 2018: 2017 data, reports released

Contact Us


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