The ACU launches new benchmarking service for members

The ACU launches new benchmarking service for members

Published on 01 October 2014

The ACU has launched ACU Measures, a new online service that will enable its members to benchmark their performance in a range of non-academic areas against other institutions across the Commonwealth.

ACU Measures will initially allow benchmarking on three focus areas: academic salaries, research management, and gender mainstreaming.

Users will be able compare their results against averages of the whole sample – or against smaller comparison groups of their choice – and generate custom tables, graphs and reports.

Emma Falk, the Research Officer at the ACU who is leading the project, said: ‘Universities increasingly require the most up-to-date information in order to build strategy for future success. ACU Measures is a tool that has been designed to help our member universities to not only interrogate the latest data, but to customise their searches and run personalised queries that give them the most useful comparisons for their own institutional contexts. It is not intended as a ranking tool, but instead to help institutions examine, compare, and contrast their current systems and practices.'

The data behind the benchmarking service is pulled together from various annual surveys conducted by researchers at the ACU, with data on academic salaries stretching back to 2004. This year’s surveys are already underway and any data fed into them concerning the three focus areas will be manipulable online via ACU Measures to participating members.

'The accuracy and relevance of the benchmarking data is largely contingent on our members participating and providing quality data,' Emma Falk added. 'The data that members get out of the survey is only as good as the input we get from our members.'

Speaking of issues concerning privacy, she added: 'Whilst this service will facilitate the sharing of experiences and aid the dissemination of good practice by providing university leadership with information about performance in specific areas, privacy is also hugely important to us and participating universities.' The ACU assures that responses of individual institutions will be kept private and anonymous, and that individual responses will only be available to users from that respective institution.

For more information on this new benchmarking service, please visit the ACU Measures page.