A new business intelligence service has been launched by Jisc and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) to support university staff in making the most of the data available to them. HESA’s Jonathan Waller explains how it will benefit the sector.
It has been a year in the making. It has involved working with a wide range of higher education (HE) providers and sector bodies. It has involved several in-depth testing phases. It has involved the HESA team redeveloping millions of rows of data. HESA is now unveiling Heidi Plus, our next generation business intelligence tool for the HE sector.
Heidi Plus replaces heidi, the web-based management information service that HESA has been running since 2007. The new service is more than a makeover; it is a significant step change in capability and functionality. That’s because it has the ambitious aim of supporting better business intelligence across the sector and making data-driven insights accessible to a wide range of staff, not just data professionals. Heidi Plus has been created as part of a joint Business Intelligence project between HESA and Jisc.
The team at HESA has taken care to build the service using the most up-to-date data exploration and analytics software in order to give users access to extensive and detailed HESA data sets. The interactive system gives users the power to creatively analyse and generate insights from the data in a move that should significantly raise analytical capability within universities.
We hope that Heidi Plus will save providers time and money by making it quick and easy for decision makers to directly access the information they need. This can free up time for data specialists to interrogate data in depth and produce striking graphics, maps and visualisations. The system’s flexibility enables analysis of HESA’s official data on students, graduates, staff, finances, business interactions and estates. Jisc will use its Heidi Lab project to experiment with data-driven insights and features that may be migrated into Heidi Plus.
The Heidi Plus system will be freely available to HESA-subscribing HE providers enabling them to gain competitive insights and inform strategic decision-making. Non-profit HE sector bodies can also subscribe to Heidi Plus as an invaluable tool for research, reporting and policy-making. The data in Heidi Plus covers the whole UK HE sector.
To find out more about Heidi Plus and the HESA and Jisc Business Intelligence project please visit www.business-intelligence.ac.uk. For information on how to access Heidi Plus please email the HESA team.
Jonathan Waller is director of information and analysis at HESA