A lot can be learned through site user and usage assessment. With a site like Callisto, where users are entering private and sensitive information, it becomes increasingly important that data is collected, analyzed, and shared carefully and intentionally. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t information to learn from – a lot can still be learned from user and usage patterns and trends.
There are two different types of data – individual data and aggregate data. Individual data, pretty obviously, is data about an individual user. This type of data discloses information about one singular user, and thus does not give privacy or anonymity to the user. Any piece of identifiable information could hypothetically be used to learn more about one single user. For something as sensitive as disclosing sexual assault, it is imperative that user data can not be tied back to a unique user. Aggregate data, however, is data that is combined to show the data of many users; typically used for reporting or analysis.
The other important thing around aggregate or individual data, specifically when the data relates to information about incidents of sexual assault, is around mandated response upon disclosure. If the school were able to tie an assault to an individual, whether it be a perpetrator or a survivor, they could be required to take prompt action under Title IX. With aggregate data, the school is able to identify trends and patterns without the obligation to take action.
Why is this important to Callisto? Aggregate data collection is extremely important to Callisto. From it we gather a few different types of information which have helped our campuses learn about their students, support survivors, and tailor their education and prevention work. This information includes the following:
- ASSAULT RATES: We collect information about how many students have created private records but chosen not to report, how many students have entered perpetrator identities into the matching system, and how many students have created accounts. These numbers are not available from any other form of reporting, because these relate to assaults that students are choosing to not report. We are able to give campuses a much greater depth of understanding around rates of sexual assault than only through reporting numbers.
- CALLISTO USERS: We ask students their class standing and their gender, with the knowledge that anonymous demographic data will be given to their school. Schools can also opt to have additional demographic questions included. The same questions are asked in regards to the perpetrator. Victimization and perpetration trends are nearly impossible to assess with reporting numbers averaging around 10%. Callisto can increase the school’s awareness of who is involved in sexual assaults.
- INCIDENT TRENDS: We collect anonymized data from Callisto’s multiple choice questions about when the assault happened, where it happened, who was involved, and what happened. We never provide information that could identify any individual student; we remain very serious about the privacy and safety of our users. However, through aggregate data reports, we are able to provide schools with valuable information like the percentage of assaults that included alcohol/drugs use and how students are identifying the non-consensual nature of incidents.
- USAGE PATTERNS: We collect information about what time, day, and week in the year students are accessing Callisto so that we can match this information up with a school’s academic calendar to better understand trends of when students need to access resources and have the ability to intentionally target education, prevention, and support services. We are able to know not only when students are reporting assaults, but also when they want to learn about support services, when they’re creating accounts, and when they’re accessing sections of the site with information about supporting friends. All of this information can help a school improve pre-existing on-campus efforts as well as develop new programs and prevention efforts.
- ASSESSMENT: We use Callisto site data to better understand how students use Callisto, when they leave the site, how long they stay on the site, what features they use most, and other trends of their usage. While providing data to campuses is extremely important, so is our ability to improve Callisto to best meet the needs of the students it is serving.
What does Callisto do with data? Callisto compiles analyzed data reports and delivers them to their respective schools on a semi-annual basis so that schools can learn about assault rates on campus, how many people are using Callisto, when and how students are using Callisto, and victimization and perpetration trends. Because data collected by Callisto is always aggregated and anonymized, schools will never receive information that can be used to identify an individual user. By using a third-party platform like Callisto, schools are able to use data to their benefit while remaining in compliance with Clery reporting and FERPA regulations.
Data delivered to the schools is owned by the schools. Callisto aggregates data across schools to learn about nation-wide trends and patterns, but does not have ownership over individual school data. Callisto hopes to continue to provide research- and data-driven tools, but will not share individual school data without permission
What does the future hold? As Callisto continues to grow, we will be able to collect more and more aggregate data. This data will show national trends of when students are most likely to access resources around sexual assault, and can be matched up with days of the week, holidays, and other events that might impact the student experience. The data will also show the rate of students who want to process an assault but are still hesitant to report, and can help schools get a more accurate picture of the sexual assault climate. Schools will have the ability to better target campus programming and to continue working to eliminate barriers to reporting.
Callisto will continue to help schools tailor their education, response, and prevention work on campus by providing robust aggregate data. As the reach of Callisto expands, so will the message that committing sexual assault holds serious repercussions both on campus and off. Callisto fights back against a society where only 1% of perpetrators is held accountable and provides a real deterrent for committing sexual assault.