Skip to main content

Frequently asked questions

We’ve done our best to answer frequently asked questions below. If there’s something we’ve missed, or you’d like to chat through whether Heidi Plus is the right choice for you and your organisation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Heidi Plus (originally heidi) is part of a larger project between HESA and Jisc, which aims to improve higher education business intelligence capabilities.

Subscription queries

Who is eligible for a Heidi Plus licence?

Heidi Plus is free to staff at UK HE providers with a full HESA subscription. Alternative providers and not-for-profit organisations based in the UK can also subscribe. Licence levels differ. You can find out more below.

What data is included in Heidi Plus?

Heidi Plus contains information collected by us about UK higher education (HE) providers (universities, colleges or other organisations delivering higher education qualifications) that are funded by one of the UK funding councils. This does not include alternative providers.

Information includes data on their higher education students, graduates, staff, finances, estates, business and community interactions and key performance indicators.  

Data includes the most recent year available, as well as up to 10 previous years for time-series analysis, subject to the data source. Data can be analysed by sector, competitor group or provider. Provider groups can also be created to focus analysis on specific organisations.

There are three Heidi Plus user levels (roles): Gold, Silver and Bronze. Each role determines the level of data and functionality you can access (see below and scroll further down for more details). Your role will depend on the data you need access to as part of your job role. The table below overviews what’s included at each level. Follow the links for more detail.

Bronze users

Data source

An idea of what the data includes 

Ready-made dashboards

Data dashboards draw on relevant data sources to answer sector-level business questions, including Student, Staff, Graduate, Finance and Estates data

Silver users

Silver users have access to the same data sources as bronze users, plus:

Data source

An idea of what the data includes 


Financial/space/count metrics for:

  • Buildings and functionality
  • Student and staff
  • Water and energy usage, waste management, transport
  • Environment, energy, emissions and waste.


Key Financial Indicators

  • Detailed income and expenditure analysis
  • Balance sheet information
  • Financial profile ratios
  • Gains and losses
  • Consolidated cash flow statement
  • Research grants and contracts
  • HE providers’ income and expenditure.

Business interactions (HEBCI)

Financial and counts/numbers Part B

  • Spin-off and start-up companies
  • Contract and collaborative research
  • Intellectual property
  • Consultancy
  • CPD
  • Regeneration projects
  • Public engagement.


UK Performance Indicators

  • Widening participation
  • Non-continuation rates
  • Employment of leavers.

Gold users

Gold users have access to the same data sources as bronze and silver users, plus:

Data source

An idea of what the data includes 

Students and qualifiers

Student full-time equivalent

Student full-person equivalent


Student studying outside the UK

  • Students studying in the UK including those from the EU and international locations
  • Students studying at a UK provider, spending a specified part of their degree abroad (aggregated by provider)
  • Demographics (including widening participation metrics)
  • Permanent or home location before HE study
  • Subjects (JACS codes)
  • Qualifications
  • Level of study
  • Classification (award)

Graduate outcomes (DLHE) data

DLHE full-person equivalent respondents


  • Employment industries
  • Occupations
  • Salary bands
  • Locations of employment
  • HE qualifications obtained


Staff full-time equivalent

Staff excluding those with short-term contracts full-person equivalent

  • Academic employment function
  • Non-academic employment function
  • Contract type
  • Demographics (including widening participation metrics)
  • Salary range
  • Employer (HE provider)
  • Region of employment
What is the difference between Bronze, Silver and Gold roles?

There are three Heidi Plus user levels (roles): Gold, Silver and Bronze. They determine the level of data and functionality you can access within Heidi Plus. Each named user within your organisation will be assigned a role. Your role will depend on what data you need to access for your business requirements.  

Bronze - As a Bronze user, you can view dashboards and data visualisations created by us, but you cannot create your own visualisations, nor access data sources.

Silver - As a Silver user, in addition to Bronze role benefits, you can create your own visualisations, dashboards and reports. You can also access detailed data sets that do not contain personal data: Finances, Estates and HE Business and Community Interactions.

Gold - As a Gold user, in addition to Bronze and Silver role benefits, you can access detailed data sets, which contain personal data: Students, Graduates and Staff. Gold users are required to undertake data protection training to ensure strict data protection standards are maintained at all times.

How much does Heidi Plus cost?

For HE providers with a full HESA subscription

Heidi Plus is freely available to all staff from HE providers with a full HESA subscription. Access to Heidi Plus will be managed by the Lead Contact in your organisation. This will typically be someone in your provider’s strategic planning office or equivalent. If you’re unable to locate your Lead Contact, please contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.

For alternative providers and not-for-profit organisations

Providers without a full HESA subscription and not-for-profit organisations can also subscribe to Heidi Plus. Your organisation will initially be assessed in terms of eligibility to access the service. You’ll be charged according to the number of your named users, as follows:

Gold users need to present a viable business case to benefit from a Gold role. This is because Gold roles enable access to unrounded personal data on individuals.

Licence/user type

Band 1

Band 2

Band 3

Band 4






Gold or Silver

Up to 3 named Gold or Silver users


Between 4 and 6 named Gold or Silver users


Between 7 and 10 named Gold or Silver users


Between 11 and 20 named Gold or Silver users

Gold Lead Contact





10 free support queries/year










All prices are reviewed annually in line with other HESA products and services and are subject to VAT at the prevailing standard rate.

For businesses and private users

Heidi Plus is not currently available to businesses and private users. If you’re a business wanting access to HE data and insights, please see our bespoke data services or range of data products released each year.

Can I subscribe at any time?

The annual subscription period runs from 1 August to 31 July to align with the academic year. If you would like to subscribe between these dates, we are happy to discuss a discounted pro-rata package to cover the outstanding time period for that subscription year.

Can I undertake a free trial?

To ensure you get a good feel for Heidi Plus before you make a decide if it’s right for you, you can take part in a one-to-one webinar with one of our experts. You’ll benefit from a software demonstration including creating visualisations and dashboards. You’ll also be able to ask questions and we can talk you through how to take your next step.

Will I get support and training?

We have a range of support services to help you make the most of Heidi Plus for business intelligence. These include:

Getting started

Our Heidi Plus Support Centre (accessible once you’ve logged in) has been designed to help you make the most of Heidi Plus, right from the start. You’ll find a quick start guide as well as a range of training materials including exercises for you to follow. You’ll also be able to access data summary guides to ensure you understand what each data field means.

Training courses

We also run regular Heidi Plus training courses at beginner and intermediate/advanced level. These courses – CPD-accredited and run at various venues across the UK - are a great opportunity for you to develop your skills. You’ll learn how to undertake meaningful analysis and draw insights through the creation of visualisations and dashboards.

Ongoing support

We’re a small team but will always do our best to resolve any issues you have using the software. Your subscription fee includes up to 10 support queries with us each year, but we highly recommend attending our Heidi Plus training courses to help you make the most of the system.

Technical queries

Is Heidi Plus similar to heidi?

Heidi Plus replaces the functionality offered by heidi, but is an entirely new and improved tool. You don’t need to have used Heidi to use Heidi Plus. The software is intuitive and includes drag-and-drop functionality to create visualisations and dashboards.

Can I share data visualisations and dashboards?

Yes, you can share data visualisations and dashboards. Your contract and data protection for gold users and lead contacts will determine any limitations to this, including the application of our data rounding policy to the raw data.

Can I blend HESA data sources in Heidi Plus?

Yes, as a Silver or Gold licence holder, you can blend data in visualisations from the data sources you have access to.

Can I use Heidi Plus from different devices?

Heidi Plus is hosted on Tableau Server and is accessible via a browser. This means that, providing you have internet access, you can use your credentials to log in at any time.