Go to the U of M home page

November 30, 2010

Released: HR Employee Count Tool and Student Aid Profile

HR Headcount Tool
The next iteration of our web-based reports has been released. This time the Human Resource Employee Headcount PDF was the subject of the conversion. These reports offer more flexibility than the student data in terms of presentation. We have three pre-built reports, one of which is based on the PDF as well as a tool which allows users to drag and drop dimensions to view that data to their liking, based on the concept of an Excel pivot table.

View the web-based HR Employee Headcount reports.

Student Aid Profile
We have released a new report regarding student financial aid. Some of the data included: PELL grants, work study, and loans. This data can be found on the Student Data page, under Student Aid Profile, and is available for the past two years.

More details on both of these will be coming in the next few weeks.

November 24, 2010

Tracking File Downloads w/Google Analytics

The November 19th, 2010 Web Standards Meeting featured a presentation on utilizing Analytics, specifically Google Analytics, to enhance your user experience and website usage. This presentation was provided by Nuria Sheehan, CEHD, and Liz Turchin, CCE. Nuria had specifically mentioned something about capturing click events to track PDF file downloads. This is a segment of usage data that we had previously missed, as I have not used Apache log analysis, so I decided to investigate further...

Some Google searching revealed a snippet of JavaScript which would in effect, simulate a standard click via an onclick action. The snippet follows:

onClick="javascript: pageTracker._trackPageview('/downloads/map');

There is an obvious limitation to implementing this solution: you have to manually add an onClick attribute to your links. [More details to this regard on Google Help](http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55529)

I wanted a solution that would automatically register and track these clicks, without me having to maintain all of the links to these PDFs, Excel documents, etc. Luckily for me, I utilize the [Prototype](http://www.prototypejs.org/) JavaScript framework, which provides many shortcuts to make something like this quite easy.

The end product needed to search the DOM to identify links to PDF and Excel documents and register a click event listener, which would then use the built-in callback function from Google, shown above. Code follows:

*This code should be in an application wide JavaScript file, or in the page's HTML header, after the Prototype file is included.*

// Finds all of the PDF/XLS document links on a page, and enables
// tracking for Google analytics. Known issue, will fail to match
// PDF links utilizing hash to jump to page (eg file.pdf#page=35).
// Also, not compatible with IE6 because of CSS 3.
// More info on the page tracking API:
// http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55529
function trackFileClicks(){
// Modify file_extensions to include any additional types you
// would like to track (eg .xlsx)
var file_exentions = ['.pdf', '.xls', '.doc'];
// CSS 3 selector, a[href$='.pdf'], $= implies file ends with '.pdf'
var css_selector = "a[href$='" + file_extension + "']";
// select all of the links w/the current file extension
// Add a click listener to the link, which will send an
// Asynch request to google
link.observe('click', function(e){
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker('UA-XXXXXX'); //Change to your ID
pageTracker._trackPageview(cleanHref(link.href, file_extension));

// Takes the full URL and reduces to only path, and file name sans extension.
function cleanHref(href, extension){
// Found RE on StackOverflow:
// http://stackoverflow.com/questions/27745/getting-parts-of-a-url-regex)
var uri_regex = /^((http[s]?|ftp):\/)?\/?([^:\/\s]+)(:([^\/]*))?((\/\w+)*\/)
var clean_href = href.toString();
//Regex returns array with indexes as follows:
var SCHEMA = 2, DOMAIN = 3, PORT = 5, PATH = 6,
var match_container = clean_href.match(uri_regex)

return match_container[PATH] + match_container[FILE].replace(extension, '');

*This code must be on the Header of your page and wrapped with script tags*

document.observe("dom:loaded", function() {

If you are using another library like jQuery, it should be quite easy to port this code over. It is important to note that since this utilizes CSS3, a browser which does not support this, eg IE6, will fail. The code could be extended, but you would lose some speed, as you would be required to manually check all of the links via Regex.

**UPDATE**: var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker('UA-XXXXXX'); //Change to your ID This line must be included, intial blog post was missing this, and therefore if the code was used, clicks would not be tracked.

This has been implemented on our site, and has been proven successful! The fix above was required to make it work.

November 19, 2010

Student Data Enhancements

System-wide Totals
The enrollment reports now show a University of Minnesota System-wide total when viewing the Headcount Data (the reports on the left-hand column which show one term of data). This had been requested for those who work on a system level. Previously, one would have been required to add up each of the Campus totals to get the system total.


"All on one page" report
One change a few people had requested was the ability to see all of the dimensions we made available in the Headcount reports available on one page, so it could be printed. We have added the ability to do just this. If you would like to utilize this, find the link on the bottom of the left-hand column which says "All of the above on one page".


Data to Fall 2000/Fall 2001
The Official Student Enrollment data and the New Freshman Characteristics data had been limited to Fall 2005 due to limits of our trend data. We have now opened up the one-term reports for all the available terms (Fall 2000 for Enrollment, Fall 2001 for Freshman Characteristics).


November 12, 2010

2010 HR Reports, Presentations and HEOA released

2010 HR Data
The HR Employee Counts PDF report has been updated with 2010 data and the Employee and Student Head Counts/Credit Hours for Fall 2010 has been posted. We have also posted an Excel version of this file, available on the HR page.

Fall 2010 Presentations
The presentations from AIRUM 2010 have been posted. The University had six presentations at the event, four of which came from our office. A presentation from NASPA 2010 has also been posted.

Higher Education Opportunity Act
In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act, created in 2008, the University of Minnesota is providing graduation rates by certain federal aid group.

November 2, 2010

Site Usage - Month of October

This marks the end of the second month live. The big releases that occurred in October were the release of the Fall 2010 Enrollment and Freshman Characteristics data, the Enrollment maps Google mash-up, and the Degrees and Certificates Awarded 2010 data. For who are wondering, the usage data is collected and analyzed via Google Analytics.

We had 1,994 visits from 1,094 unique visitors during the month. Of these visitors, 9,926 pages were viewed, an average of 4.98 per visit. The average visitor spent 4 minutes and 22 seconds on the site. The most visitors in one day (127) occurred on Monday, Oct 18th, however, the most page views (1,064) occurred on Thursday, Oct 14th. We received visitors from 40 of the 50 states in the United States.


Visitors by Browser: 49.6%, Firefox / 36.3%, Internet Explorer / 7.2%, Safari, 6.5% Chrome

Number of Visits by State: 1,567, Minnesota / 43, California / 33, Illinois / 29 Wisconsin

26 users visited the site via a mobile device (iPad, Cell Phone, etc).

50% of users who visited the home page ended up looking some sort of Student data, 28% at the Official Enrollment Statistics. The Fall 2010 Enrollment statistics were viewed 969 times, and 85% of those visits resulted in the viewing of at least one report.

Most Viewed Enrollment Reports: 18.8%, Academic Level / 11.6% Registration Status

Most Viewed Freshman Characteristics Report: 14%, ACT Composite / 11% High School Rank

The Fall Enrollment Map was viewed 118 times.

Traffic Sources
Last month, 85% of people browsed directly to www.oir.umn.edu. As anticipated, this number was reduced, and the number of referrals and searches increased. This month the traffic split was 66% direct / 18% site referral / 16% search engines.

Top Search Terms (Search Engine(Total Vists): # of visits, search term)
UMN Search (174): 39, institutional research, 32 oir
Google (119): 11, nsse university minnesota, 10 university of minnesota tuition history