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Census Processes at Creighton

Every year, the Office of Analytics and Institutional Research collaborates with other Creighton offices to conduct two census processes.  These processes involve validation of our data for reporting purposes and ensures that we have the most accurate data.   

  • The first is the Student Enrollment Snapshot Process, otherwise known as the student census.  We work closely with Enrollment Analytics and Reporting and the Registrar’s Office on this process, which occurs for both the fall and spring semester about 10 days into the semester.  
  • The second is the Employee Census in which we partner with Human Resources.  This focuses on validating data about Creighton faculty and staff and is completed on November 1st of each year.   

Both of these data sets allows us to report to IPEDS and other external agencies and provide the data via our interactive dashboards.  

Student Enrollment Snapshot Process

A snapshot of enrollment numbers by semester at a certain point in time.

  • Census: All students enrolled for the semester
  • Cohort: All new students enrolled for the first time at Creighton for the semester

Purpose: To validate and finalize enrollment data in order to have confidence in its validity, and use for reporting purposes, both internally and externally.   

When: Every Fall and Spring Semester – finalized 10 days after the deadline to register for full-semester classes

Who: Enrollment Management, Registrar’s Office, and Analytics and Institutional Research (AIR)


  • The Monday prior to the Snapshot date, the Registrar’s office pulls the initial list for student enrollment, which includes a number of data variables/metrics and provides it to the team.
    • This allows us enough time to process adds/drops
    • Students who are charged tuition are counted, which includes students that withdraw from all their courses, but not if they cancel their enrollment.  
  • Each team member is responsible for ensuring that students are accurately coded based on a number of different data points
    • Some of this involves reaching out to the different professional schools to confirm with them.   
    • A checklist was developed to ensure specific data points were reviewed throughout this process.  For example, confirming we have students accurately marked as new, transfer, or continuing.  
  • The team works through the data, adjusting as needed, until a list is finalized over the course of the week.
    • A Tableau report has been developed to catch any possible errors.   
  • Once the data is finalized, it is stored on the oracle database and is considered the final enrollment snapshot for both the census and cohort.
    • Once the snapshot is finalized, we are also able to report the finalized retention numbers as well.   

Dates for Snapshot:

  • 2023-24
    • Fall Snapshot: August 31
    • Spring Snapshot: January 25
  • 2024-25
    • Fall Snapshot: September 5
    • Spring Snapshot: January 30
  • 2025-26
    • Fall Snapshot: September 4
    • Spring Snapshot: January 29

Employee Census

Each year, Human Resources (HR) and Analytics and Institutional Research (AIR) partner in the coordination of the HR Census process.  This process involves the validation of key personal data fields for Faculty and Staff positions within each school/college/division for accuracy.  The HR Census dataset is effective each year on 11/01 and used on a regular basis for data requests and surveys as appropriate. This process will improve data integrity and accuracy in the HR system and PDMS.

Each faculty and staff member will be asked to update their personal information, including name, ethnicity, race, marital status, highest education level, veteran status, and disability status. Employees will receive communication asking them to update information starting October 15th and will be given two weeks to complete.  Weekly communication will also be published in Creighton Today to remind individuals to update their information.  The entire update process should take less than 5 minutes. Progress reports will be provided on a weekly basis to the leaders of each school/college/division.  
In addition to personal information being updated, AIR will also coordinate with each school/college to review faculty employment category, rank, tenure, CIP codes, and organization name starting October 1st.  Each school/college will have three weeks to complete the review and provide edits back to AIR.  Any updates to these fields will be shared back with HR.  Any suggested edits to the organization name will be shared with the Finance department for approval.  The CIP codes will be updated in the Provost Data Management System (PDMS).