Definitions

    Standard Activity Model (Sam)

    Standard Organization Model (Som)

    Analysis Factors

    Data Views

    University Characteristics

    Benchmarkable Status

    Division/School vs. Department

    My Dashboard

    Internal Benchmarking Tabs

    External Benchmarking Tabs

    The Standard Activity Model (SAM) includes our current areas of administrative staff focus. We estimate the intensity of effort to each of these activities for staff across campus. The definitions of each core activity and sub-activity can be found here. These definitions reflect the most current version of HelioCampus' SAM. If the entry does not apply to a previous year this will be noted at the bottom of the definition and also in the Chart Notes within the benchmarking graphs.

    Teaching

    Instructing students, and designing, presenting, and implementing courses and curricula. Includes academic program development and providing training on teaching and pedagogical techniques.

    Research

    Conducting, designing, or coordinating research studies, presenting research at conferences or in written publications, and directing student research. Includes writing grants to secure funding to conduct research when also directly involved in performing that research.

    Service

    Serving on internal faculty-related task forces and committees, and taking on administrative appointments as leaders of programs or other units. Also includes contributions to professional organizations related to one's field of study, the community at large when related to an academic's area of professional expertise, and taking on editorial roles at professional journals.

    Marketing and Communications

    The creation and management of internal and external communications.  This includes online marketing and engagement (web pages and social media) for both external and internal audiences.

    Public Affairs

    Managing communications and relationships with external stakeholders, including the media, government entities (including governing boards), and the local community.

    Other
    Includes Communications sub-activities not separately identified at this time. Examples include, but are not limited to, TV/radio broadcasting, production, and technical support; graphic design services; printing services; photography and videography; and document/publishing services.

    Alumni Relations

    Connecting alumni to the university through publications, programs, services, records management and advocacy.

    Fundraising

    Raising money for the university such as annual giving, parent giving, major gifts, corporate and foundation donations, principal gifts, and gift planning.

    Prospect Management, Research and Analytics

    Administering a prospect management system, identifying and evaluating prospective donors, and donor stewardship. Also includes conducting development research, creating reports, briefings, and analytics.

    Other
    Includes gift processing, as well as other Development sub-activities not separately identified at this time.

    Capital Planning and Management

    Long-range planning of the physical development of university facilities; establishing architectural criteria for the design and development of facilities; coordinating, supervising and reviewing work of design consultants/architects and construction firms engaged in major capital development projects.

    Maintenance and Minor Renovations

    Conducting and/or managing maintenance/repair (electrical, HVAC, or plumbing) or minor renovations (minor carpentry projects or painting).

    Energy and Utilities

    Managing utilities (e.g., electricity, water and sewer infrastructure).  Specific activities include management of energy production and distribution, serving as key point of contact with external utility providers, developing strategic plans to reduce energy and water consumption, analyzing statistical data, and recommending policies to reduce utility costs.

    Environmental Health and Safety

    Managing/overseeing/enforcing programs related to biological safety, chemical safety, air and water quality, laboratory safety, radiation safety, fire prevention, workplace safety, hazardous waste collection and disposal, stormwater management, recycling program management, and occupational health.

    Grounds

    Maintaining and cleaning of outdoor spaces. Includes picking up loose trash from grounds; plant, cultivate, weed, water, and care for lawns and other green areas; operating lawn care equipment; native area and wetland management; maintaining lawn care equipment and performing miscellaneous sprinkler/irrigation repairs.

    Custodial Services

    Planning, directing and managing the cleanliness, sanitation and appearance in working and living environments of buildings.

    Public Safety

    Providing security for faculty, staff, students and visitors on the university campus; police and fire first responders; coordinating building accessibility and safety issues with campus departments; safety education and outreach; crime reporting. Also includes emergency management, including the oversight of central warning systems and the planning, preparation and response to major security and natural disaster emergencies.

    Transportation

    Transporting individuals and goods; works with local jurisdictions on regional transportation planning issues; coordinates all traffic, parking and transportation on campus properties. Ensures compliance with university parking policies and procedures. Ensures there is a readily available fleet of motor vehicles for appropriate personnel and performing regular maintenance and repairs on motor pool vehicles. Encompasses all transportation modes (vehicles, aircraft, bicycles, etc.).

    Other
    Includes Facilities related sub-activities not separately identified at this time. Examples include, but are not limited to, activities such as training, real estate activities, mail services, laboratory/research facility management/operations, and inventory management (including disposition of surplus goods).

    Accounts Payable

    Processing of invoices for payment; processing of personal reimbursements for payment, including travel; ensuring that university, governmental and legal requirements are met regarding the allowability of payments against fund source types.

    Budget and Financial Planning

    Preparation and coordination of the annual budget and/or long-term financial plans, including participation in the development of budget guidelines and schedules, identifying budget issues and opportunities, recommending solutions, and coordinating resolutions with departments.

    Financial Reporting

    Preparation of the university’s annual and interim financial statements; interfacing with external auditors; preparing high-level financial statements and reports for university senior leadership and governing bodies.

    General Accounting

    Reviewing and analyzing financial transactions recorded in the university’s financial systems; recording of month-end and year-end journal entries; recording of special entries related to construction accounting, trust fund accounting and other specialized areas; processing and recording accounts receivable and billing activities; maintaining the chart of accounts.

    Payroll Processing

    Processing of on- and off-cycle payrolls; coordinating the correction of payroll errors; approving the posting of payroll transactions and fund source corrections to the general ledger; reporting and processing of payroll withholdings to government agencies; assisting departmental administrators and central human resource staff with the review and analysis of complex payroll and time reporting issues.

    Procurement

    Management/analysis of spend data to facilitate optimal pricing, oversight of bidding process for the acquisition of goods and services via requests for proposals/information/quotes (RFPs, RFIs, RFQs); handling the paperwork involved with purchasing, managing procurement contracts; ensuring completion of the initial paperwork involved with asset tracking/tagging.

    Student Accounts

    Submission of invoices to and collection of payments from students, parents and third-parties for tuition and fees.

    Other
    Includes Finance related sub-activities not separately identified at this time. Examples include, but are not limited to, activities such as training, treasury, investment, tax management, risk management, internal audit, and P-card management.  

    Executive Leadership

    Providing leadership and direction with respect to strategic planning, resource allocation, and program planning/management.  Exercising decision making authority that affects multiple aspects of administration and operations.

    Departmental Support

    Provision of support in one or more of the following functional areas:

    Customer service functions – Front desk receptionist and phone duties, direct customers to appropriate resources, communicate policies and procedures.

    Clerical functions – Assistance with forms and related procedures, recordkeeping, filing, data entry/compilation, preparation and dissemination of correspondence and other documents, arranging meetings, clerical support for events/conferences, drafting/disseminating meeting minutes, calendar/appointment management, mail distribution, office supply management, pre-travel coordination/reservations, and post-travel clerical/admin support.

    Classroom/Research/Outreach support functions – Coordinating and fulfilling tasks on behalf of instructors, researchers, or outreach coordinators in support of their teaching/research/outreach objectives, such as coordinating classroom/lab/facility space usage, visitor support, and coordinating educational, research, and/or outreach related experiences/events.

    Institutional Research

    Collecting, maintaining, analyzing, interpreting, and reporting institutional data to support institutional planning, policy formation, and decision-making

    Legal Services

    Providing and coordinating legal services and general counsel for the university, including legal representation for university leadership, administrators, and faculty.

    Benefits

    Managing and maintaining employee benefits such as medical, dental, and vision benefits along with retirement savings accounts. Also providing accurate information and education on benefits and programs; responding to staff and vendor inquiries; updating policies and procedures; responding to and resolving employee inquiries and claims issues.

    Classification and Compensation

    Job classification and compensation policy development and compliance. This includes designing, conducting and participating in salary surveys; performing various analyses for purposes of market pricing, salary program development, variable pay, and pay structures.

    Employee and Labor Relations

    Ensuring compliance with federal and state labor laws and regulations to ensure consistent application of university policy and the collective bargaining agreements; overseeing employee relations programs.

    Hiring (Employment)

    Recruitment and selection of university personnel including coordinating employment advertising, developing and completing required employment forms and related documentation, conducting interviews, administering background checks and employment verifications, and facilitating employee separation/termination.  This sub-activity can also be referred to as “Employment”.

    Training (Talent Management)

    Planning & conducting staff orientation; training design and delivery; leadership training and supervisory development; organizational development consulting. This sub-activity can also be referred to as “Talent Management”.

    Other
    Includes Human Resources related sub-activities not separately identified at this time. Examples include, but are not limited to, activities such as time and leave reporting, and management of the employee performance appraisal process.

    Application Development

    Analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, modifying, and maintaining computer programs for administrative, business or research applications.  Examples of app dev activities: developing software, building databases, interfacing with users to define system requirements or modifications, debugging, and documenting computer application programs to meet the needs of the user’s system.

    Education Technologies

    Providing systems and services that support campus teaching and learning, including e-learning. This includes support of computer labs and other multimedia centers, classroom support and virtual meetings and learning.

    Infrastructure and Operations

    Managing, operating, and maintaining enterprise-level hardware, software, systems, and network infrastructure that provide underlying support for institutional activities.  Examples of infrastructure activities: server and database administration, operating system installation and maintenance, storage and system backup and recovery, maintaining networks (fiber and wireless), server virtualization, and computer hardware maintenance.

    Security/Privacy

    Protecting systems from intentional or inadvertent access, modification, destruction, or disclosure. This includes IT audits, information risk management, compliance with access control (i.e passwords, accounts, and authentication) policies, and specific activities concentrated on protecting the privacy of personal information, such as medical records, financial data, business information and other protected data.

    User Support

    Interacting with students, faculty, staff and visitors to address information technology problems, questions, and issues with hardware and software, whether through a help desk, call management system, websites, or providing user training/assistance.

    Other
    Includes Information Technology related sub-activities not separately identified at this time. Examples include general training of IT personnel and software license management.

    Pre-Award

    Providing administrative support for the negotiation phase of an externally sponsored project, e.g., preparing and submitting grant proposals, and/or determining the Facilities and Administration (F&A) rate, also known as the indirect cost or overhead rate.

    Post-Award

    Managing financial matters related to an externally sponsored project after an award has been received, such as recording awards in tracking systems, monitoring the finances, ensuring compliance with federal circulars, cost sharing, effort reporting, invoicing and financial reporting.

    Research Compliance

    Ensuring compliance in the areas of animal care and use (i.e., Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) and human subjects (i.e., Institutional Review Board), as well as the conduct of clinical trials, and conflicts of interest arising from the research enterprise.

    Other
    Includes Research & Grants Administration sub-activities not separately identified at this time.  Examples include, but are not limited to, management of technology licensing/transfer/commercialization programs and processes.

    Academic Advising

    Creation of educational plans that are compatible with the personal interests, values, abilities and life goals of students.

    Admissions

    Student recruiting, e.g., building relations with high schools, community colleges, and other universities; communication and outreach programs with constituents concerning education opportunities at the university; receiving and evaluating admission credentials of applicants to determine eligibility; communicating with students regarding their admissions status.

    Career Services

    Providing services and resources to help students clarify and attain their career goals; internship and employment search assistance; workshops on job -seeking skills; hosting job fairs; resume services; on-campus interviewing; graduate school preparation assistance; and online internship and job listings and occupational and employer information.

    Dining Services

    Procurement, preparation and serving of food and beverage.

    Diversity

    Providing services to traditionally underrepresented segments of the population, e.g. African American, Hispanic, Asian American, Native American, students with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.  Assisting with diversity policy and plan development and monitoring compliance.  

    Financial Aid

    Assisting students and their families with financial resources in the form of needs-based scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study to assist students with paying for their educational expenses; offering guidance and financial counseling to navigate the financial aid processes.

    International Programs

    Creating and managing international education opportunities, such as study abroad programs or international internship programs.  Providing services for international students and scholars, e.g., visa processing and orientation.

    Recreational Services

    Providing, administering, managing, or assisting in student recreation services or programs, such as intramural sports, club sports, and fitness classes.

    Registration

    Conducting/managing student registration; maintaining the academic records of all students; issuing official transcripts; awarding degrees; scheduling classes; managing and publishing course catalogs; issuing examination schedules; compliance with probation and re-admission requirements; recording and reporting grades; and determining residency status.

    Residential Services

    Providing, administering, and managing student housing and / or residential life programs.

    Student Engagement

    Providing, administering, managing, or assisting with programs, services, activities and events intended to enrich students’ overall experience, such as community service programs, student outreach programs, Greek life, student clubs, and student government. Also includes planning and executing events that are key milestones in a typical student’s college experience, such as student and parent orientation events/programs, as well as commencement ceremonies. In contrast to Recreation Services, this sub-activity does not include services/programs that provide opportunities for physical exercise and/or participation in intramural/club sports.

    Tutoring / Learning Support Services

    Providing, administering, managing, or assisting with programs and support services that enhance the academic/learning skills of students, such as tutoring services, learning centers, writing skills centers, and programs specializing in support of student athletes.

    Other
    Includes Student Service sub-activities not separately identified at this time. Examples include, but are not limited to, activities such as student conduct, honors programs and non-academic student seminar programs, e.g., seminars about coping with exam stress, managing personal finances/debt, healthy eating choices, and other general “life skills” topics.

    Athletic coaching / training
    Health services
    Library services
    Museum services
    Performing arts services

    The Standard Organizational Model (SOM)™ facilitates benchmarking at the division or “school” level. For example, one university could benchmark its law school against another member university’s law school.  To that end, HelioCampus maps each university department to one of several standardized schools or “other” organizational categories as listed below.

    Academic Divisions are the most common types of colleges/schools found within our consortium.  Our platform currently allows users to select from a list of 17 of these common colleges/schools to facilitate benchmarking at the college/school level.  Most of them are self-explanatory (e.g., Law School or Dentistry School).  The following is a list of our standard schools for benchmarking:

    • Agriculture School (Main Campus)
    • Agriculture School (Extensions)
    • Architecture School
    • Arts & Sciences School:  We will map a school/college to this standard division only if the college includes mix of humanities and science departments.  We would not blend a college of arts with a separate college of sciences to create an equivalent to a college of arts & sciences.
    • Business School
    • Dentistry School
    • Education School
    • Engineering School
    • Journalism School
    • Law School
    • Medical School
    • Nursing School
    • Online Education:  Note – Online education offices embedded within schools/colleges will be mapped to their parent school/college (e.g., an online MBA program would be mapped to the parent business school).
    • Pharmacy School
    • Public Health School
    • Social Work School
    • Veterinary School

    We define a department as Centralized Administration if it meets both of the following conditions:

    • The office sets policy and manages services on behalf of the entire university.
    • The service(s) provided by the office is/are related to at least one of the activities in our Standard Activity Model (SAM).
      • Central Communications
      • Central Development
      • Central Facilities
      • Central Finance
      • Central General Administration
      • Central Human Resources
      • Central Information Technology
      • Central Research Administration
      • Central Student Services

    We define a department as Shared Services if it meets the following conditions:

    • The office provides at least one service related to our Standard Activity Model (SAM).
    • The office provides the service(s) to two or more divisions/schools.

    Unlike centralized administrative offices, shared services offices do not have policy-making or audit authority.  They are specialized service processing centers that are designed to create efficiencies and cut costs across departments.  For example, all of the health-related professional schools at a given university (i.e., the medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, etc.) may combine their financial services employees together into one shared services center, and thereby reduce administrative overhead costs.

    We record and display data related to externally provided labor services that map into our model.  Typical examples of external labor include dining services, custodial services, and landscaping contracts.  This category also includes external services provided by a system office or a foundation.

    This category is to benchmark the following auxiliary functions.

    • Athletics
    • Dining
    • Residential

    We do not include the following auxiliary activities in our model.

    • University bookstore
    • University affiliated retirement community
    • University affiliated hotel

    This category is for all departments that do not fit into any of the other SOM categories.  Common examples include research institutes, colleges/schools that do not match up with any of the Academic Standard Divisions (e.g., College of Dance, College of Fine Arts), libraries, museums, and student health departments.

    Analysis Factors allow members to normalize the benchmarking charts in order to facilitate more accurate benchmarking comparisons.  For instance, users can view the benchmarking charts on a cost per student basis, along with several other options.

    Acres Maintained

    Total acres maintained by the grounds department. Excludes land assigned to academic units for instructional or research purposes, agricultural land, forests, or land that is part of the campus’ real estate portfolio but is not maintained by the grounds department.

    Research Awards

    Total number of externally sponsored research awards administered during the benchmark year. Do not include internally financed research awards.

    Square Feet Cleaned

    Total square feet cleaned, also known as cleanable square feet, includes classrooms, offices, labs, restrooms, libraries, storerooms, gymnasiums, and other public areas. Also includes leased space if university staff clean the space. Areas defined as building service, circulation, mechanical and structural should not be included.

    The following analysis factors are optional.  These can be useful for performing longitudinal analysis of Finance activities.

    Purchase Orders => $5,000

    Total number of purchase orders and amendments greater than or equal to $5,000 processed during the benchmark year. Use the value of the original purchase order to determine the correct category for an amendment (e.g., if an amendment is less than $5,000, but is tied to a purchase order that was greater than $5,000, then the amendment belongs in the greater than $5,000 category).

    Purchase Orders < $5,000 (Optional)

    Total number of purchase orders and amendments that were less than $5,000 processed during the benchmark year. This Analysis Factor is optional.
     

    P/T-Card Transactions (Optional)

    Total number of purchase card and travel card transactions processed during the benchmark year. This Analysis Factor is optional.
     

    Payroll Disbursements – ACH / Wire (Optional)

    Total number of salary / wage disbursements made via electronic means during the benchmark year. This Analysis Factor is optional.
     

    Payroll Disbursements – Checks (Optional)

    Total number of salary / wage disbursements made via paper check during the benchmark year.  Excludes check reversals. This Analysis Factor is optional.
     

    AP Disbursements – ACH / Wire (Optional)

    Total number of accounts payable disbursements completed via ACH & wire during the benchmark year. This Analysis Factor is optional.
     

    AP Disbursements – Checks (Optional)

    Total number of accounts payable disbursements completed via paper check during the benchmark year. Excludes check reversals.  This Analysis Factor is optional.

    Total Operating Expenses 

    The total operating expenses of the university as reported in the audited financial statements for the benchmark year. For universities included in a system-wide financial statement, this would represent only the university’s share of the operating expenses in the system-wide audited financial statements. This figure does NOT include interest and other expenses and deductions, as defined in IPEDS – Finance Reporting.

    Total Labor Spend

    The total amount of dollars contained in the data file submitted by the member for a given fiscal year in addition to member provided external labor dollars from external labor contracts, systems and foundations providing SAM human capital investment.

    Total Labor Spend (AWI Adjusted)

    The total amount of dollars contained in the payroll file for a given fiscal year in addition to external labor dollars adjusted to reflect the Area Wage Index (AWI) adjustment.

    Total Employee & Student Headcount (IPEDS)

    The sum of total employee headcount for the benchmark year (from IPEDS) plus the total number of students enrolled in the fall (also from IPEDS).

    Students (IPEDS Fall Headcount)

    The total number of students enrolled at the university in the fall of the benchmark year.

    Students (IPEDS Fall FTE)

    The total number of full-time equivalent students enrolled in the fall of the given fiscal year.

    Students (IPEDS 12-Month Unduplicated Headcount)

    The unduplicated 12-month headcount of students enrolled at the university for the given fiscal year.

    In Person Students

    The total number of in person students enrolled at the university in the fall of the benchmark year (Fall student headcount minus exclusively distance education student headcount).

    Employee (IPEDS)

    The total employee headcount for the benchmark year reported by IPEDS.

    Employee Headcount (ABC)

    The total number of distinct employee IDs in the submitted member data file for a given fiscal year.

    FTE Employees (IPEDS)

    The total number of full-time equivalent employees being paid by the university for the benchmark year, as reported by IPEDS. IPEDS calculates FTE Employees by summing the total number of full-time staff and adding one-third of the total number of part-time staff. Graduate assistants are not included in this value.

    FTE Employees (ABC Insights)

    The total number of full-time equivalent employees paid by the university for the benchmark year, derived from the client data file submission.  Note – this value also includes the FTE estimates for external labor.

    Selected Standard Division Labor Spend

    The total amount of human capital investment for a given fiscal year within the selected standard division(s) including external labor dollars assigned to the selected division(s).

    Selected Standard Division FTE

    The total number of full-time equivalent employees being paid by the university for the benchmark year within the selected standard division(s), including external labor FTE employees assigned to the selected division(s).

    Total Research Expenses

    Total externally sponsored research expenses (excludes research expenses that are internally financed).  Source:  National Science Foundation (NSF) Higher Education Research And Development (HERD) survey: https://nsf.gov/statistics/srvyherd/

    Development Funds Raised

    Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) cash & cash equivalents:  All revenue  (cash, checks, stocks, etc.) received in the current year. Includes irrevocable planned gifts.  Does not include pledges or other non-cash commitments.  It also includes all private grants received in the current year. Does not include any government grants, clinical trials or contracts.

    Data Views allow our members to analyze spendingng in different ways to generate deeper insights into the classification of spending and the classification of resources.

    Professional

    All staff that do not fit into one of the other three Employee Classifications (Students or Temporary or External Labor) fall into this “catch all” classification.

    Students

    Employees whose PRIMARY relationship with the university is “student” fall into this class. Common student titles include student assistant, graduate student, and graduate fellow. Students are typically flagged in a payroll system as “FICA Exempt.” Employees who are not filling a permanent position and who have no expectation of continued/permanent employment also fall into this class.

    Temporary

    Common temporary titles include Temp, Temporary, and Limited Term Employment. Temps are also flagged in most client data systems since they do not receive the same benefits that are typically provided to permanent employees.

    External Labor

    The labor costs associated with resources that support our Standard Activity Model (SAM) that are not found in the member datafile submission. This only includes significant external labor agreements that map into our model.  Typical examples of outsourced labor include dining, custodial, and groundskeeping services.

    Centralized

    A centralized organizational unit sets policy and manages services within a given functional area on behalf of the entire university. Common centralized divisions include Information Technology Services, Facilities Services, Human Resources Office, and Finance & Admin.

    Decentralized

    Includes divisions, schools, or departments that do not provide a central function across campus. Common examples include professional schools such as business, law or medicine, as well as athletics or music departments, or a college of sciences.

    Shared Services

    A shared services office provides a set of services to one or more organizational units — but unlike centralized units, these offices do not typically have policy-making authority. They are designed to create efficiencies and cut costs across departments. For example, all of the health-related professional schools at a given university (i.e., the medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, etc.) may group their financial services employees together in one shared services office, and thereby reduce administrative overhead costs.

    External Labor

    The labor costs associated with resources that support our Standard Activity Model (SAM) that are not found in the member payroll file submission. This only includes significant external agreements that are worth at least 1% of a university’s total labor expense and 10 FTEs for a given sub-activity in a given fiscal year. Typical examples of outsourced labor include dining, custodial, and groundskeeping services.

    Characteristics of universities are exposed in the Benchmark Chooser (click on the gear icon in the top right of the box) in order to make appropriate selections of universities for comparison.

    Yes or no.

    Accrediting body.

    Common area of competition.

    Specific Carnegie Classification.

    General region of the country.

    Yes – In DataFile
    Yes – Not In DataFile
    No

    Marketing and Communications

    The creation and management of internal and external communications.  This includes online marketing and engagement (web pages and social media) for both external and internal audiences.

    Public Affairs

    Managing communications and relationships with external stakeholders, including the media, government entities (including governing boards), and the local community.

    Other
    Includes Communications sub-activities not separately identified at this time. Examples include, but are not limited to, TV/radio broadcasting, production, and technical support; graphic design services; printing services; photography and videography; and document/publishing services.

    Designation – Yes or No.

    Designation – Yes or No.

    Designation – Yes or No.

    Public or Private

    Yes or no.

    Yes or no.

    Yes or no.

    Yes or no.

    The status of the university as seen in the Benchmark Selector provides information regarding the readiness of the data for benchmarking.  Only Provisional and Finalized years are available for selection and benchmarking.

    Finalized indicates that the Fiscal Year chosen is completed and has been reviewed by the member.  The Fiscal Year must also comply with our datafile submission policies. In addition, the member must have provided validated Analysis Factors in addition to the submission and / or validation of estimated cash compensation and FTE for any significant external labor provided by vendors or system provided services not found in the annual payroll file submission process.

    Provisional status indicates that the Fiscal Year chosen is complete and has been reviewed by the member.  However, one of the following conditions exist that must be remedied before obtaining the Finalized status.  If a member chooses to use a university in this status for benchmarking then we ask that they pay close attention to the Chart Notes for explanation of the following and status on resolution:

    • The fiscal year does not comply with data submission policies (e.g. missing Medical School, missing student labor, etc.)
    • The member is missing one or more mandatory analysis factors (e.g. missing Research Awards or Sq. Feet Cleaned)
    • The member is missing one or more material external labor agreements (e.g. missing a large dining or housekeeping labor contract)

    The HelioCampus Benchmarking platform provides two levels of hierarchy as defined below.  When obtaining a data file from a university member we ask that all employees have a column that indicates where they work for each unique position they hold.  That means for each unique position an employee has a Division and a nested Department. For instance: Jane Smith works for the Baker Business School in the Career Management department.

    The top level of the University structure – for instance the Business School, Law School or Central Finance.

    The next sub-level of the University Structure – for instance the Career Management Department within the Business School.

    My Dashboard is the standard landing page for member universities.  This page provides a curated view of high level insight measures that can serve as a jumping off point for further analysis in the benchmarking charts.   Each module is presented as a box and whisker plot with your university indicated as a red dot.

    Overview

    This module shows your Administrative Intensity Measures (AIM).

    Example

    You want to ensure that your SAM human capital intensity as a % of total human capital investment or total FTE is aligned to optimized for your strategy.

    Benefit

    Understanding your AIM and proactively planning and controlling this key metric helps to ensure you are providing the optimal level of support to key stakeholders.

    Overview

    This module shows how much you spend on SAM human capital per person at your institution, and compares you to benchmarks on the metric.  The commentary highlights key drivers of variance from the benchmark average.

    Example

    This module will let you quickly and easily determine the level of administrative intensity in dollars or FTE compared to a group of 4 or more finalized benchmarks for the year chosen.

    Benefit

    Understanding your relative level of support for campus stakeholders in addition to understanding the key drivers of under or over intensity is an important starting point for further analysis to ensure optimized spending.

    Overview

    This module compares you to benchmarks by dynamically displaying the relative level of centralization of SAM activities at your university compared to the benchmark set.  The commentary highlights key drivers of variance from the benchmark average.

    Example

    The module will let you quickly and easily see how your level of centralization compares to benchmarks and which areas are the key drivers.

    Benefit

    Understanding and optimizing the central or decentral resources on campus can have a big impact on the effective utilization of resources and help to avoid potential duplication of activity redundancies that cause administrative labor costs to rise if not closely monitored.

    Overview

    This module shows you what percent of your academic labor spend goes towards SAM activities and compares you to benchmarks on that metric.  The commentary highlights your top three divisions in SAM investment as a percentage of total human capital investment.

    Example

    Do you understand the level of administrative support your schools and colleges have relative to benchmarks?  How can you determine when administrative resources might be too decentralized across your university?

    Benefit

    This can be an important module to monitor for universities implementing new budget models with a need to better understand typical levels of administrative staffing.

    Tabs are the standard navigation areas of the HelioCampus Benchmarking Platform when performing either Internal or External Benchmarking.   The purpose of each tab in Internal Benchmarking is explained below.

    Overview

    This chart is organized by the Division name provided in the submitted datafile for the fiscal year.  The dark shading indicates the central spending and the other shading shows the decentralized, shared or external spending for any Division.   This chart can be further analyzed by any core activity or sub-activity.

    Example

    If employees are getting paid from a Division such as Central Finance but are performing non-Finance related activities like IT, then their associated compensation dollars will show up in the bar as decentralized spending within the activity of IT.

    Benefit

    If you have a Division that is expected to be performing Centralized activity functions across the university and in fact, some people are not, then it is good to know the activities that are driving the spend and determine why.  This knowledge can have positive implications on strategic budget planning, alignment, and optimized resource allocation.

    Overview

    This chart is organized by the Division name provided in the submitted payroll file for the fiscal year.  Dark shaded bars indicate that the underlying department structure for that Division was identical between the two years being compared. Hatched mark shaded bars indicate that there was some underlying change to the department structure and a light shaded bar indicates the Division only appeared in one of the years. The numbers can be reported in either dollars or FTEs. The chart requires at least 2 years of data for comparison.

    Example

    If a Division has an increase or decrease in human capital investment it is clearly visible on the chart.  Note – this chart requires consistency in the names of the Division and nested Departments for the 2 comparison years.

    Benefit

    If you have a Division that was provided additional human capital resources, then those changes will show up in this chart.  This view can help with general human capital budget compliance or help track shifts in staffing.

    Overview

    This chart is an alternative view of the data that can help to explain the activity-based resource levels of any Division or Department within the university.

    Example

    If you wanted to see the activities performed by the Central Facilities Division on campus this can be chosen from the drop-down bar.  For further disaggregation of this analysis, you can then drill into any nested department to view their activity breakout.

    Benefit

    This view can help create better alignment around the activities/skill sets needed to effectively operate a Division or Department.

    Tabs are the standard navigation areas of the HelioCampus Benchmarking Platform when performing either Internal or External Benchmarking.  The purpose of each tab in External Benchmarking is explained below.

    Overview

    This chart begins with your total SAM human capital investment compared to a set of selected benchmarks in any single year.  The top bar is the focus university (typically a school color) and the bar underneath is the average of the benchmark set. The dark shading indicates the central spending and the other shading indicated the decentralized, shared or external spending. Hover over any of the areas for more information.

    This chart can be further analyzed by any core activity or sub-activity by simply clicking on the bar.

    • Select benchmarks by clicking on Select Benchmark Set and use the gear to choose by relevant characteristics
    • Select Standard Division if you want to narrow the analysis to only a college (e.g. just compare spending to benchmarkable Business Schools)
    • The Display Peer Names toggle is not applicable for this chart
    • The Display All Subactivites toggle is useful to see all activities from high to low
    • Change the Fiscal Year with the dropdown box
    • Change the Data View from Organizational Classification of spending to Employee Classification to see the same spending by a different classification
    • Change the Numerator to see the date on an area wage adjusted basis of by FTE
    • Change the Denominator to divide and normalize the data across benchmarks by items such as Operating Expenses, Employee or Students to name just a few

    Overview

    This chart operates exactly like the External Year Compare chart with the difference that it allows you to perform a side by side comparison of any two fiscal years.  Simply pick a start year and end year for analysis.  All other features / toggle options remain the same.

    Overview

    This chart allows for the “racking and stacking” of your university vs. benchmarks.  All other features stay the same with the exception that you can choose any Activity and subactivity to analyze.  You also have the ability to toggle on Display Benchmark Names which can be useful to have deep conversations with other members on strategies to optimize spending in that area.  Drill downs are not available in this chart.

    Overview

    This chart allows for a quick analysis to determine where SAM intensity in dollars or FTE is at a significantly larger or smaller intensity level than peers.  This can often be the starting point for deep analysis and “why” questions.   The answers to these questions at the focus university level can be found through multiple levels of drill-down that allows you to see where the dollars and / or FTE are occurring by Division and Department.

    Overview

    This chart is available by request as a BETA feature for universities that have at least three years of adjacent data available (e.g. FY16, FY17 and FY18).  This chart provides trendlines on activity spending and FTE that can be analyzed to see trends over time relative to benchmarks.