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Beta phase: Provider readiness

Alpha to Beta blogpost series

Participating in Beta is one of the best ways to review what you do and don’t know. Whether you have an in-house or off-the-shelf system, a large team, or are making your first submission, early engagement will only help you to be ready for the first Student – Data Futures collection:

“Based on the structure we had and the resources we had, we knew we had an uphill battle… So, the sooner we started the better” 

Each provider’s readiness is not just about the 1 August 2022 collection deadline and platform go-live in early 2023 - this is something Alpha participants really want to convey to any colleagues considering Beta:

“[Data Futures] is about the institution. This is about the institution’s reporting mechanisms and its data capture and integrity”

“Being part of the [alpha/beta phase] gives you an extra edge, doesn't it? We're actually part of this: we understand it, so we need all these things to happen now…So even if you just understand a tiny little bit more than what you did before, that's huge”

Bring your departments with you 

“Now I get to share the fact that there's not just me who knows it…now we’ve got a team who are on board building the solution and gradually more and more people are coming to realise how big this is going to be for us…we learned how much we had to do. From the data side and from the system side” 

We want end-to-end testing during the Beta phase, but our aim is also provider readiness – we need you to be competent and confident ahead of the new collection launching August 2023. 

Review the online learning - and review again

We have a suite of e-learning dedicated to the Student - Data Futures specification, and we will release further modules for the HESA Data Platform (HDP) and quality assurance: 

“The more people you can bring on at the beginning, the better it's going to be. There [is] training to bring everyone on board, but also just being exposed to the same information is helpful”

Data Futures is now: the things that we should be capturing are now

Assess your readiness as an organisation

At this time, more than any other there are multiple demands placed on departments, so it is important to prioritise what’s needed from each area, as the changes may not only impact individual colleagues but may be part of overall process or business changes:

“One of our big challenges is getting people on board who still think [Data Futures] is two years away. It's not. Part of it is now: the things that we should be capturing are now.”

Assess and continually review your preparations

Completing a preparation assessment and sharing the results is a visually compelling way to establish understanding across your organisation. It is worth repeating it after an agreed amount of time, to see what has changed and what still needs attention.

Now is the time to assess your overall readiness for collection from August 2022 and the first submission to the new HESA Data Platform in August 2023. 

Stay informed via the HESA weekly update and Data Futures monthly update. We send both newsletters out to operational contacts, but non-operational colleagues can also sign up:

Sign up for the HESA weekly update

Sign up for the Data Futures monthly update

Above all, we are here to assist and help where necessary, so please do contact [email protected] if you need clarification or further information. We look forward to working with you during the Beta phase.

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