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Ethics & Human Research

Making Metrics Meaningful: How Human Research Protection Programs Can Efficiently and Effectively Use Their Data

ABSTRACT Human research protection programs (HRPP) generate an abundance of data on performance, capacity, and compliance. When used effectively, this information can be instrumental in helping HRPPs meet programmatic and institutional goals, demonstrate growth and success, and improve the HRPP overall. Metrics must be grounded in professional insight so that HRPPs can pair analytics with strategies for future action or improvement. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how high-performing HRPPs develop, adopt, and implement a metrics framework that benefits everyday operations and produces real-world results. Through a three-part thematic framework (of insight, data, and action) and by providing case examples and actionable strategies, this article will address how HRPPs iteratively develop and characterize their metrics, build a metrics framework that leverages both quantitative and qualitative data to validate outcomes, and activate human insight to produce meaningful communication, visualization, and dissemination of data.

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