ASSIST Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Qs.)
This page contains answers to common questions fielded by ASSIST production staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.
How can I get access to ASSIST data?
Researchers desiring access to ASSIST must be an employee of a participating institution and be approved by the institutional ASSIST Steering Committee representative. Authorized ASSIST users must sign nondisclosure agreements and submit the form to their institutional ASSIST Steering Committee representative.
The ASSIST Nondisclosure agreement is available at:
The agreement needs to be signed and notarized. A copy maybe faxed to 480.965.1559 to initiate the process but the notarized original must be sent to:
c/o Office of Institutional Analysis
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287-5304
Who is my ASSIST Steering Committee Representative?
A full listing of the ASSIST Steering Committee is available at:
How can I connect to ASSIST to get data?
The design of ASSIST makes it possible for institutions to retrieve information using standard query language or SQL statements. You can connect to ASSIST using the Hyperion/BrioQuery web version (plug-in), Hyperion/BrioQuery desktop version (client), or a SQL tool. It is the responsibility of the researcher to purchase this software and connect to the Internet.
What types of data items are available in ASSIST?
Where do the data come from?
The participating institutions submit ASSIST data annually. The records are matched and loaded into the ASSIST data warehouse. Students are assigned an anonymous ASSIST ID, which becomes the primary key in the ASSIST data warehouse.
How timely are the data?
Most of the community college data are submitted on an academic year basis, typically in February of the following year (e.g., AY year 2002-2003 data by February 2004). Community college degree data are more up-to-date with annual degree files submitted in the Fall following the previous academic year. University data are submitted on a semester basis.
Did we turn in our institution’s ASSIST file and has it been loaded?
File status may be checked at:
What is Hyperion/BrioQuery?
Hyperion/BrioQuery is the software recommended for querying and manipulating data from ASSIST. Hyperion/Brio is preferred over other query tools such as Microsoft Access for two important reasons:
What else can Hyperion/BrioQuery do besides extracting data?
With Hyperion/BrioQuery, you can make pivot tables, charts, and reports.
What is Hyperion? What happened to Brio?
In late 2003, Hyperion acquired Brio and is currently supporting the Brio products. BrioQuery is now also referred to as Hyperion Intelligence. During the transition, ASSIST is using the term Hyperion/Brio.
What other software programs can be used to analyze ASSIST data?
You can export ASSIST data from Hyperion/BrioQuery and import it into spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel or databases such as Microsoft Access.
How do I get training on using the ASSIST database with the Hyperion/BrioQuery software?
Institutions with current account holders are responsible for providing individual training for new authorized users. If no current authorized users are available, copies of training modules are also available at:
I’ve had some basic training using the ASSIST database and Hyperion/Brio from my institution. Does ASSIST offer any additional resources?
ASSIST sponsors an annual statewide meeting for all Steering Committee members and authorized users. Each meeting includes demonstrations and discussion on various ASSIST issues. The ASSIST meeting is held in conjunction with the Arizona Association for Institutional Research (AZAIR) annual conference. ASSIST user groups—one for community college users and one for university users—also offer opportunities for users to further develop their knowledge and experience with ASSIST data.
In addition, ASSIST maintains ASSIST-Q@asu.edu that responds to customers’ questions concerning ASSIST as well as the use of Hyperion/Brio software.
Two key resources for new ASSIST users are the data diagram and the data documentation.
The ASSIST E-News is distributed two to three times a year and typically includes a quick tip on the last page. Past issues are available at:
When and where is the next Hyperion/Brio training opportunity?
Hyperion offers classroom and e-training sessions for BrioQuery or Hyperion Intelligence. The schedule of courses available is listed at:
I forgot my password. Who can help me?
Send a message to ASSIST-Q@asu.edu. Your password will be reset and emailed back to you as soon as possible.
How do I change my password?
If you connect using the Hyperion/BrioQuery desktop version (client):
1. Go to the Tools/Connections Manager.
2. Under the Connections Manager, select the first connection available.
3. The Change Database Password will only light up IF:(1) a connection is highlighted; and (2) you are logged on to it. This will change your password for all future logins.
If you connect using the Hyperion/BrioQuery web version (plug in):
1. Go to Tools.
2. Go to Change Database Password.
How can I get help with a particular query?
ASSIST users may attach their query with a description of the purpose of the query and the problem with the results to ASSIST-Q@asu.edu. If the query is over 1GB (1,000KB) with the results, please save it without the results before sending. To do that in Hyperion/Brio desktop client or the web version, click File/Save Options/Save Query with Document and uncheck the query results box. Resave before attaching and emailing.
Why can’t I see other institutions’ data to use as comparison?
Each participating institution retains ownership and control over their data and approves all research involving ASSIST data. Therefore, an institution may only access records for their current and former students. Any other institutional comparison data can only be obtained directly from the other institution.
How can I check the validity of the ASSIST data with our institutional student data?
Personally identifiable characteristics such as name, birth date, and student ID are removed from the database accessed by researchers to ensure student privacy and compliance with federal law. Therefore, verification of individual ASSIST student records against your own institutional data is not possible. You should, however, be able to confirm high-level aggregate numbers for enrollment headcount.
Revised September 15, 2009
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