The Value of eResearch Services: Harmonising Key Performance and Key Value Indicators

Dr Jerry Lai1,2, Dr Christopher McAvaney1, Dr Andrew Goh1,2

1Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Geelong, Australia
2Intersect Australia, Sydney, Australia

The scope of eResearch services has expanded and evolved rather drastically over the past decade. Traditional measures of performance (KPI) which focus on infrastructure usage and financial return-on-investment (ROI), whilst capable in addressing part of what eResearch entail, fall short in capturing other key aspects of eResearch — engage, empower/support researchers to maximise research output (i.e., soft benefits, implicit outcomes). In Deakin eResearch (DUeR), we plan to introduce Key Value Indicators (KVI), to further enhance our ability to portray the value of our services.

The eResearch services at Deakin can be broadly conceptualised into three pillars:

* Infrastructure

* Training

* Research Collaboration and Consultancy

The traditional KPI are quite suitable for showing the value of our Infrastructure services, based on usage and ROI. For Training, on the other hand, key stakeholders at senior executive level have advised that “the feedback and attendance looks good, but we wish also to see how attending these eResearch training would benefit researchers in the long run, and more importantly, the research capability of the university at large”. This seemingly simple request led us to rethink our approach in reporting the value of our eResearch training; and its interdependence with our (DUeR and Intersect Australia) contribution to generating research output and potential of Deakin University.

This presentation outlines the service structure of DUeR; the key challenges we face in value and performance reporting; temporary solutions and proposed long-term solutions.


Dr Jerry Lai is a Senior eResearch Analyst at Deakin University and Intersect Australia. Jerry has a background in psychological science and statistics. He has a passion for data-driven storytelling through which, he helps develop insights into new questions and practices. Led by Dr Christopher McAvaney (Services Manager, eResearch), Jerry works with multiple research teams in Deakin—by providing consultancy, hands-on Support, or through research collaboration—on the following:

– Research Methods and Survey Design

– Data-Analytics and Visualisation

– Statistical Programming

– Promote Statistical Literacy for Non-Statisticians


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