Daniel “Dan” Nugent is a highly experienced professional with more than 20 years of experience in institutional research and data analytics. Dan is capable of understanding the end user’s needs, extracting requirements from sometimes ambiguous questions, and delivering solutions to meet the user’s needs. Dan has a background in quantitative data analysis with graduate-level training in management science and statistics, including machine learning and data science methods, to complement his professional experience. Dan has exceptional information technology skills with experience on several database platforms and using multiple analytics environments.

Beyond technical skills, Dan is a well-rounded professional with experience in organization development, including strategic planning, quality management, and continuous process improvement. Dan also has experience in project management with an emphasis on the software development lifecycle (SDLC), “DevOps,” and “DataOps” practices.

Technical Skills

  • Expert with Structured Query Language (SQL), database design, data warehouse design, and data modeling for analytics. Experienced with multiple database dialects, including Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL/MariaDB, and SQLite. Working knowledge of leading cloud-based database technologies like Snowflake and Microsoft Azure.
  • Experience with business intelligence and reporting tools, including Microsoft Power BI, Oracle OBIEE, and Tableau.
  • Experienced with extract, transform, and load (ETL / ELT) tools, including SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and dbt.
  • Experienced with specialized statistics and data analysis applications, including SAS, SPSS, Stata, R, Python, and MATLAB.
  • Proficient with multiple programming/scripting languages, including Python, C/C+, Visual Basic, VBScript, Windows CMD shell, and Bash.
  • Proficient with issue tracking/task management using Trac, JIRA, Asana, Trello, GitHub, GitLab, and Microsoft Planner.
  • Proficient with version control using Git, Subversion (SVN), and Mercurial (Hg).
  • Experience with build automation using Make and continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) using Jenkins. Familiar with workflow management systems, including Apache Airflow.

Work Experience

October 1996 – Present
The Pennsylvania State University

Data and Reporting Analyst

Office of Planning, Assessment, and Institutional Research
July 2018 – Present

  • Principal analyst on multiple external reporting projects, including submissions to the Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) and global rankings surveys such as the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.
  • Developed and prepared analyses in response to ad-hoc requests from the university leadership, including the president, provost, vice presidents, and deans.
  • Built and maintained data models in Microsoft SQL Server to support regular reporting. Responsible for the analytics workflow end to end from ETL through data preparation to the final data model.
  • Developed reports, visualizations, and dashboards in Microsoft Power BI to provide university data supporting “self-service” reporting.
  • Mentored junior staff and new hires. Provided leadership during the recent management transition.
  • Moderated the “Data Analytics Network” (DAN), a community of practice for analysts within OPAIR to share knowledge and best practices.


University Budget Office
March 2017 – June 2018

  • Developed the data model for the Official Enrollment Census data, the canonical source for all enrollment-related reporting across the university.
  • Principal analyst on multiple external reporting projects, including multiple IPEDS surveys.
  • Introduced software development practices to the analytics workflow, including version control with Git, using separate environments for development, implementing consistent code styling, and process automation.

Managing Director

Computational and Spatial Analysis Core
December 2014 – March 2017

  • Managed the operations of a unit providing data processing, GIS analysis, and statistical programming support to academic research projects. Responsible for all functions, including strategic planning, budgeting, marketing, and account management.
  • Supervised a staff of six full-time research programmer/analysts.
  • Coordinated with academic researchers to define data and analysis requirements and develop the project plan and budget.
  • Provided programming support for data management, analysis, and presentation to academic research projects. Developed projects using SAS, R, Stata, and PHP.

Planning and Research Associate

Office of Planning and Institutional Assessment
November 1998 – December 2014

  • Principal analyst on several executive-level reports, including projects analyzing faculty salaries and the university’s Faculty Exit Interview and Survey.
  • Designed and conducted focus group and survey research projects to support the process improvement efforts of several Penn State units, including the University Libraries, the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and the Department of Industrial Engineering.
  • Facilitated Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) team projects and strategic planning sessions for various Penn State units, including Residence Life, the College of Education, and Penn State York.
  • Designed and presented several training programs on Continuous Quality Improvement topics.
  • Introduced software development practices, including version control, issue tracking, and automated builds to enhance the quality and efficiency of data projects within the office.


M.S., Management Science
The Pennsylvania State University
27 of 30 credits completed

B.S., Health Policy and Administration
The Pennsylvania State University
December 1994

Selected Papers and Presentations

Nugent, D., Keeping Your Projects Under Control, North East Association for Institutional Research annual conference, 2011.

Nugent, D., Managing Your Projects with Free Software Tools, North East Association for Institutional Research annual conference, 2010.

Nugent, D., Applying Software Engineering Techniques to IR Projects, North East Association for Institutional Research annual conference, 2009.

Nugent, D., Collaborative Opportunities in Institutional Research, North East Association for Institutional Research annual conference, 2008.

Nugent, D., and N. Warcholak, Toward Research Transparency: Fostering Collaboration, Increasing Accountability, and Building a Knowledgebase Using Open Source Methods, Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, May 2008.

Nugent, D., and B. Sherlock, Keeping Your Team Project on Trac, Web 2007, Pennsylvania State University

Nugent, D., Software Development Techniques for IR Project Management, North East Association for Institutional Research annual conference, 2006.

Nugent, D., An Application of Churn Modeling to Predict Faculty Turnover, North East Association for Institutional Research annual conference, 2004.

Dooris, M. and D. Nugent, The Role of Institutional Research in Implementing First-Year Seminars, North East Association for Institutional Research annual conference, 2001

Dodd, A., C. Everett, and D. Nugent, Measuring Quality Improvement: A Scorecard Approach, North East Association for Institutional Research annual conference, 2000

Dooris, M., and D. Nugent, Targeted Research to Support Planning and Improvement, North East Association for Institutional Research annual conference, 1999