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NMSU Research Metrics

Research Metrics

When the new NMSU Vice President for Research came in, he wanted to hit the ground running with a visual aid showing how many research grants were being applied for, awarded, and for how much… for every department doing research on the whole campus. The numbers existed, but there was no easy way to convey them to the relevant departments or even the president, vice president, provost, or board or regents.

That’s where I came in. I did a little digging and found a great JavaScript graphing tool known as AnyChart. Since I work primarily with PHP and JavaScript, it was a perfect fit and pretty easy to get the charting software up and running. I work with a colleague to get the numbers from all the departments in an excel spreadsheet, upload that sheet to a server, and then use PHP to aggregate the data and spit out a JavaScript template for the charting software to read and display.

Using object oriented code in this case means I can write it all once for a single department and all the other departments just fall in line using the same functionality. Tweaking things just a little and doing some math allows me to also draw charts and graphs for the overall university, which makes seeing how research stacks up at NMSU much easier. That’s important if we’re going to reach our goal of being a tier 1 research university by 2025. I have no doubt we’ll make it.