The HEI User Group met for the second time on Tuesday 15 June 2010.
The following actions were discussed:
Joint Event - Planning Community, JISC, HESA
A meeting will be set up for User Group members to further discuss a collaborative event which will focus on business intelligence for senior managers.
Data Collection Survey
A questionnaire which will capture the number/ range of data collections currently submitted by institutions to organisations other than HESA will be discussed with the AHUA Executive Group. Once agreed the questionnaire will be distributed through AHUA to all HEIs to elicit responses. The UCISA representative agreed to create the questionnaire with HESA's input and advice from other members.
HESA had developed a proposal for HEFCE which will identify existing benchmarking data sources and create an inventory of benchmarking activities, as well as look at case studies which explore the use of benchmarking and drivers for HEIs. In the longer term the project will look at good practice across the sector. Additional funding will be explored beyond HEFCE which will enable this to be a UK wide exercise. It was also acknowledged that there are commercial companies undertaking benchmarking activities and they will be contacted during this process. The relationship with business intelligence was also acknowledged.
Cost Centres, JACS and REF data
There is a need to bring together Cost Centres, JACS and REF requirements to ensure that coding is useful to the sector and enables sufficient mapping to be carried out to produce meaningful and comparative data. It was noted that JISC is also interested in this area and discussions are underway.
JISC Survey for senior managers
The JISC representative provided an update on the survey which JISC had conducted throughout the sector about business intelligence which received 119 responses. It was agreed that throughout the sector executive information is becoming highly important and the awareness of HESA's data must be raised as colleagues look at benchmarking, PIs, scorecards etc to provide the information that is required.
Heidi 4 development
The data architecture redesign of heidi4 is well underway and will give much more flexibility to users and provide the ability for the user to drill down through the data to meet specific needs and be much more receptive to providing business intelligence to senior managers. In addition the user interface is being improved to allow for more intuitive use. A news item which will inform users on what they can expect from the heidi4 development has been published. www.heidi.ac.uk/development
It was agreed that ARMA should also be contacted to ask for a representative to join the User Group.
Engagement and Good Practice
It was agreed that the sector as a whole is becoming much more aware of the importance of good quality data which is used to inform business intelligence. Following on from the recent survey (as reported above) JISC are looking at several work packages which will address business intelligence for senior managers and identifying ways in which to help with strategic decisions. The awareness of HESA data and also the heidi system with its analytical capabilities needs to be raised within the sector.
HESA's draft Strategic Plan 2010/11 - 2013/14 was discussed and the useful comments from the group will be taken on board before the final document is agreed.
MIAP HESA pilot project as detailed in the Chief Executive's Report which was presented to the HESA Board at its meeting on 10 June 2010 was also discussed.
The DLHE Good Practice Project as detailed in the Chief Executive's Report was also discussed.
Data Efficiency Recommendations: the outstanding data efficiency recommendations were discussed with some follow up work still in progress. The Data Efficiency Report commissioned by HEFCE can be found at http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/circlets/2008/cl28_08/
Atypical staff data: HEFCE are planning to meet with EHRC to seek their views before a way forward can be agreed.
*J: There is now a better understanding in institutions on where some parts of data is available earlier through the UCAS transactions. Further documentation is on the UCAS website to inform colleagues in more detail.
Information Standards Board
The Chief Executive of HESA is a member of ISB whose focus is to set common data standards across the sector from early years through to life long learning. There are several technical working groups set up to take this work forward which have HESA representation but wider representation from the organisations represented on the User Group may be sought.
HESA HEI User Group Communication with the Sector
One of the key purposes of the HESA HEI User Group is to improve the communication across the sector and it was agreed that a synopsis of the HEI User Group meetings will be available on the HESA website.
The next meeting will be held in December 2010. Further information will be available in due course.