Busy program administrators keep academic programs running. They are also responsible for much reporting back to funding agencies. In particular, the NIH requires almost a dozen data tables when applying for, or renewing, training grants.
By using Flight Tracker to collect data about their scholars, program administrators can take advantage of the tool’s dynamic abilities to easily produce some of the required NIH tables. Currently, Flight Tracker can produce a draft of Tables 5 and 8 with minimal administrative input effort. There will always be a bit of subsequent fine-tuning needed, but a computer-produced draft of publications and outcomes can save a lot of time.
The NIH’s eRA Commons portal is also moving to electronic reporting through its new xTRACT software. Flight Tracker has a tool to connect electronically to the xTRACT website. If Flight Tracker data already exist, then xTRACT can pick it up, albeit with some wrangling.
Software to help with NIH Tables 1-4 is currently under development. These have some overlap with Flight Tracker, but not as much as Tables 5 and 8. Instead, the tool attempts to pool institutional data so that future attempts can build on prior efforts. The more people use this tool, the more it can save your fellow administrators (and perhaps even you) time.