October 2015 All Change: HESA, HEDIIP and other data requirements

Aston business school today where I’m presenting to 120 planners from 120ish UK Universities as well as recording some of the rest of the day with the Higher Education Strategic Planners Association.

All Change event overview

new street new station

First up Andy Youell, HEDIIP / redesigning the information landscape

Aims to improve quality, timeliness and accessibility of data and information about HE (students at the heart of the system, BIS 2011

A call to bravely redesign for the benefit of data providers and consumers. There are 525 data collections with 93 organisations collecting student data. There’s a lack of coherence in published information with different definitions and timescales. This means we are providing the same data in different formats at different times to different data collections. The aim is to standardise and rationalise.

The causes; lack of coordination among data collectors, lack of coordination in responding to data requests, range of data capability across HE providers and data collectors. This is a UK wide issue and is not technological.

A commission enquiry is underway, Lord Norton is chairing a committee looking into data issues. Jisc has contributed to this. http://www.policyconnect.org.uk/hec/home

KPMG report / Vision for new landscape from HEDIIP (the 4 building blocks;
1. Collective governance function and common data principles
2. Standard data set with agreed definitions
3. Rationalisation of data collections through HESA
4. Enhanced data capability

1. Governance
KPMG recommended this is hosted by HESA

    Providing technical / operational advice
    A broad group (There is no singe body that can mandate across the disparate aspects. So we’re talking leadership, oversight, authority, challenge (and arbitration) as functions. KPMG suggest a board, senior, strategic, small in number (yet there are 93 collectors on student data alone). Should be transparent)
    Different expertise and perspectives
    Scanning and championing
    Modelled on HEDIIP advisory panel, creating other adhoc groups as necessary

Developing, managing and publishing data specifications. Undertaking stakeholder engagement (resolving problems, coordinating implementations, expertise, advice, guidance and good practice). Inventory of data collections (revised survey in January 15). Plan is to start looking into student data area.

2. ULN
The Unique Learner Number published a roadmap to adoption last summer. It’s now in phase 1 – adoption and management group. Improved harvesting and sharing of ULNs where they exist. Establishing a link between the ULN and the SCN (Scottish). Communications and awareness raising. Early benefits include qualification verification and data linking (especially for widening participation via HEAT – the higher education access tracker)
Subject coding
New JACS replacement (HECoS), non-hierarchical using 6 numeric characters providing a standardised approach to analysis.

3. Rationalisation of data collections (Previous HESA CACHED program re-launched as HESA Data Futures Programme)
A transformed HESA data collection. More on this later in the day.

4. Enhanced data capability
BIS Data capability strategy (2013) and NESTA / UUK reports (2015) stated the biggest barriers include a shared understanding of what ‘good’ is (data management is low according to the Jisc BI Maturity survey.
HEDIIP data capability toolkit includes some features of the Jisc BI Maturity exercise, though is specifically focused on data capability of course. HEDIIP collaborated with Jisc on this aspect. We do have a similar finding on data management policies and procedures from 50 University responses, October 2015


July 2016 is the end date for HEDIIP at which point it is taken forward by the HESA Data Futures Programme.

Onto the afternoon session here at the Higher Education Strategic Planners event and it’s Paul Clarke, new CEO of the Igher Education Statistics Agency, describing the HE environment and the need for ‘fast, reliable, joined dup data across the sector to help deal with it effectively.

Policy trends Paul highlighted include Austerity, efficiency ad innovation, increasing competition and marketisation, divergence between the 4 countries, sift from funding driven to data survey regulation (interesting one this), need to provide public trust and confidence.

HESA strategy will be re-articulated in light of the environment. So playing their part in upgrading the data infrastructure for a new era. Headlines;

The new strategy will run from 2016-2021 with these main fetaures;

  • Data futures programme (data collection and data governance)
  • Upgrading our technology (and skills) platform
  • Expanding range of products and services
  • Develop partnerships and collaborations to link up data more effectively
    Focus on being more efficient
  • HESA data futures programme
    In year student data collections
    Transfer (over the course of this academic year) of HEDIIP work
    Model developed by KPMG,
    Delivery 2018/19

    Next steps;
    Ongoing consultation, detailed costing and planning, set up governance structure, initial procurement (‘subject to funding’) while maintaining business as usual. I gather the aim is to fund this though the HE funding councils (subject to the green paper released today presumably). Paul stated that ‘this has the backing of the funding councils’.

    Next up – Jonathan Waller of HESA and myself on a National BI service for UK education and research
    We’re talking about Heidi Plus and Heidi Lab. Here’s our new poster describing the initiative. The HESA led piece to the left is quality assured production service. The Jisc led research and development piece to the right shows an agile approach to mashing up HESA with ‘other data’ for new insights to help Higher Education in strategic planning. Outputs will be considered for inclusion in the HESa production service or, if not on topic for that a new Jisc beta service to UK education and research.

    Heidi Plus and Heidi Lab poster

    Heidi Plus and Heidi Lab poster

    Our slides are here

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