CERP: Data Buddies Project
Org: Computing Research Association - CERP
The Data Buddies Project is an important resource for the computing community. Data collected via this project provide useful insights into student attrition and retention, factors that support the successful matriculation into graduate school and research careers, and means by which the field can broaden participation.
The Data Buddies Survey (DBS) is the means by which this project collects data. DBS is an annual survey that collects data from individuals in computing and technology fields. Academic departments across the United States and Canada volunteer to distribute DBS to students in their degree program, while CERP also directly connects with other students and professionals in the field to complete the survey. CERP uses these data to track individuals’ educational and professional development over time, with the intention to promote evidence-based best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion in computing and technology fields.
Why should you (and your department) join the Data Buddies Project?
By participating in the Data Buddies Project, you support research that can impact future generations of computing researchers, and by extension, the broader STEM community. You also contribute to the continued efforts to diversify and strengthen the domestic talent pool in computing.
- For your BPC Program/CISE Proposal: You can have your BPC program/activity evaluated through Data Buddies. CERP can compare your students to either of the following groups depending on your needs: (1) other students in your department, or (2) a national sample of students at similar institutions. Through this evaluation, you can measure and demonstrate the effectiveness of your program/activity. (Cost: $500)
- For your department’s BPC efforts: You can better understand and track your students’ educational experiences and career trajectories through the departmental reports you will receive every year. These reports will also compare your institution to similar institutions. Using this information, you can measure your department’s success in broadening participation in computing. You can include Data Buddies as an activity in your Departmental BPC Plan. Please see the section below with Example Activity Text for how to include DBS in your plan. (Cost: Free)
The Data Buddies Project is managed by the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP is a research and evaluation center whose mission is to promote diversity in computing. CERP serves as a resource for the computing community by supporting efforts to recruit and retain individuals considered underrepresented in computing or historically marginalized (i.e., women; people who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Indigenous and First Nations, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders; persons with disabilities; persons from low-income backgrounds; first generation college students; LGBTQIA+ individuals; and veterans). More generally, CERP strives to inform the computing community about patterns of entry, subjective experiences, persistence, and success among individuals involved in academic programs and careers related to computing.
How to use this Activity in your Project BPC Plan:
Not sure how to use this activity in your Project BPC Plan? Once you customize the red text, this activity should fit the checklist for Project BPC Plans. Disclaimer: Using this text in your Project Plan does not guarantee NSF approval of your BPC Plan.
Interested in this activity for your Departmental BPC Plan? Summarize the content below to fit the checklist for Departmental BPC Plans. Disclaimer: Using this text in your Departmental Plan does not guarantee BPCnet Verification of your BPC Plan.
If you intend to use this activity in your BPC Plan (Departmental or Project), be sure to submit the Program Interest form, found at the bottom of the page, so this organization is aware of your intended participation.
Participate in the annual Data Buddies Survey to improve department culture
Each fall semester, the PI will work with the CERP team to distribute the CRA Data Buddies Survey (DBS) to all students in their computing-related degree programs. The PI will aim for a 20% or greater response rate for their students each year.
1. Context & Goals
Context: [PI name]’s department supports BPC efforts; however, the department does not have current data about student perceptions and attitudes, particularly from students who are women, American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and persons with disabilities; and additionally first generation and LGBTQ. [PI name] will engage in enhancing the department’s participation efforts in DBS in order to have high quality data that will help the department understand the current department climate.
Goal: Each year, the department will achieve a 20% or greater response rate among the students who receive the survey.
Activity Motivation: Having accurate data about students in the department will allow the department to better understand the current departmental climate and to identify effective BPC interventions moving forward.
2. Intended Population
Activity Participants: [PI Name] will work with the CERP team to distribute the survey link to students in their department.
Participant Recruitment: [PI Name] has contacted the CERP team to join DBS, and has permission from their department chair to participate. The CERP team will provide the PI with an anonymous survey link, which the PI will distribute to [Select one: undergraduate students; graduate students; undergraduate and graduate students] in the department.
Responsibilities of PIs: During the time when DBS is active each year (Oct-Feb), the PI will track communication from the CERP team to distribute the survey and send 2-3 reminders to the students through the survey cycle. PI will work with the administrative staff in their department to obtain contact information for the students who should receive the survey. At the end of the survey cycle, PI will share the aggregate report with the department at a department meeting; PI will flag certain results that indicate successes or opportunities for improvement. PI will join or lead conversations about making department changes in the following semester based on these results.
Activity Content: At the end of each year’s survey cycle, the CERP team will send a report to the PI and the department chair that is unique to that department. The report will contain summaries of student responses. A strong response rate will provide a more representative set of student responses, which will result in a more informative report.
Activity Budget: None. There is no cost to participate in the Data Buddies Survey.
[For new participants in the Data Buddies Survey. Delete below text if you are not a new department.]
The PI has discussed this plan with the department chair, and the PI has submitted a sign-up form to indicate their interest in joining DBS. The PI has replied to CERP’s correspondences regarding any start-up details and has access to an updated estimate of how many students will receive the survey link.
[For departments that already participate in the Data Buddies Survey. Delete below text if you are not an ongoing participating department]
The PI has replied to CERP’s correspondences regarding any details for the start of the new survey cycle. The PI can provide the CERP team an updated estimate of how many students will receive the survey link in the new survey cycle.
At the end of each year’s survey cycle, the CERP team will send a report to the PI and department chair that is unique to that department; the report will contain summaries of student responses. The PI will share this report with the department at a department meeting to discuss the results and consider any changes that need to be made. The CERP team will also send the department’s response rate which will identify if the department reached its goal of getting a 20% or greater response rate.
American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Persons with Disabilities, Women
Free to join, $500 for program evaluation
Program Matching Funds Available?