Institutional research is a broad category of work done at schools, colleges and universities to inform campus decision-making and planning.
Institutional researchers collect, analyze, report, and warehouse quantitative and qualitative data about their institution's students, faculty, staff, curriculum, course offerings, and learning outcomes. They are involved in collecting and reporting information to government bodies, and various college guide publishers. Finally, institutional research is the source of much of the information provided to regional and national accreditation bodies to document how institutions fulfill the standards for accreditation.
In addition to reporting, institutional researchers often engage in data analysis, ranging from simply testing whether differences in reported data are statistically significant to developing and using causal and predictive statistical models.