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Objective 7

Implement new approaches to academic analytics, processes, tools and feedback loops


University progress must be transparent, analytical and measured across all activities. Plans for going forward must be grounded in such evidence.


 Six years ago, we began to develop appropriate analytics as a way to monitor progress. The Strategic Reframing Initiative (SRI) recommendations provided additional  focus in this regard and Planning and Institutional Analysis (PIA) has undertaken the development of tools we need to address this approach The goal of improvement must be the key driver for any type of measurement. The KPIs, which measure progress in a range of teaching, research, and service areas, is the first step to achieving these goals.


Data is dispersed across many units. There is a need to consolidate multiple sources of information housed units throughout the campus including Planning and Institutional Analysis (PIA), Registrar, Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW), among others. There is the concomitant need to develop a process that moves beyond counting to allow for analysing measurement and progress and a level required for University decision making data collection and analysis activities will expand through continuing and new partnerships that allow for external benchmarking.  As part of the implementation plan, we are developing a framework for assessment progress according to a core set of metrics, supplemented with qualitative assessments including unit reviews, for determining institutional progress.

Strategies and Proposed Actions

Strategy 7.1: McGill will establish and augment a clear Accountability Framework to articulate its strategic priorities and develop a systematic approach to a relevant and manageable number of measures for assessing progress in consultation with academic and administrative units.

To this end, McGill’s strategic priorities across this strategic plan can be grouped as outlined above:

  1. advance McGill’s academic and research excellence as one of the world’s leading publicly funded universities;
  2. achieve as sustained student-centred focus by enhancing educational, research, and extracurricular life and learning experiences; and,
  3. effectively manage financial, capital, and human resources on a multi-year basis.

In all our efforts we must aim to raise further McGill’s external visibility, success and reputation.

Strategy 7.2: McGill will develop a shared sense that measurement of progress will provide useful information and the basis for informed decisions.

Strategy 7.3: McGill will routinely measure and document progress using Key Performance Indicators and other academic analytics.

Strategy 7.4: McGill will keep in mind international and national rankings to inform our progress in the pursuit of excellence.

McGill’s KPIs are presently organized by theme:

  • Students (Undergraduate and Professional Students)
  • Talent (Academic Staff, Administrative and Support Staff)
  • Research & Innovation (Research Performance & Strategic Partnerships)
  • Resources (Financial Management, Physical Infrastructure)
  • International Profile (Internationalization of Students and Research)
  • Service and Reputation (Outreach, Alumni relations, Development)1


1 KPIs:  Indicator #1: Full‐time equivalent student to full‐time professoriate ratio. Indicator #2: Student Retention rates. Indicator #3: Student Graduation rates. Indicator #4: Number of additional positions dedicated to supporting students with special needs. Indicator #5: Amount dedicated to teaching and learning resources. Indicator #6: Resources dedicated to improving competitiveness in obtaining research infrastructure grants. Indicator# 7: Number and amount of research grants and contracts received from the private sector and federal funds. Indicator #8: Number of world‐class professors or researchers recruited. Indicator #9: Number/proportion of international students. Indicator #10: Number and importance of projects with national and international collaborations in the areas of excellence. Indicator #11: Board members sitting on committees of strategic importance to the institution’s management. Indicator #12: Targets associated with maintaining a balanced budget and eliminating fiscal deficits and accumulated deficit Indicator #13: Growth rate of total compensation compared to the Quebec Government’s salary policy. Indicator #14: Annual targets for revenues from donations made through the fundraising campaign. Indicator #15: Percentage of doctoral/total degree‐seeking students. Indicator #16: Average funding: student financial support. Indicator #17: Deferred maintenance. Indicator #18: Quality of Faculty Supervision and Advising. Indicator #19: Innovation in Pedagogy. Indicator #20: Faculty Satisfaction and Retention. Indicator #21: Research Intensity: the measures described under Indicators 6, 7, and 10 will contribute to reach the objective of this indicator). Indication #22: Number of joint contracts (MUHC agreement).