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Table 3.  Sample needs-assessment questions for stakeholders
  • What information would help you improve instruction and programs, and better understand and meet students' needs?
  • What common data requests do you receive that cannot be answered with the currently available data?
  • What additional data would you need in order to answer your questions? How can you get those data?
  • What database linkages would be necessary to answer your questions (both within and outside the institution)?
  • What access to data should be provided to various types of users to facilitate easier, more effective use of the data?
  • What tools would facilitate access to, and analysis of, the data?
  • What kinds of additional reports would be useful to staff and outside researchers?
  • What types of professional development would be necessary?
  • What user support would be helpful?
  • What business operations do you want the LDS to improve?
  • How could data collection be improved (e.g., move to web-based system)?
  • How could the new system help you better comply with federal and state collections (e.g., collect data elements required by federal or state reports that are currently not collected or able to be submitted on time)?
  • What technology would you need to make the system work? What new technical capabilities would be necessary?
  • What additional security measures would need to be implemented to protect the new data?
  • What capabilities do other systems have that would potentially help your agency better achieve its goals?