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Data Capability toolkit

Assessing and improving the sector's data management capability

As part of the Higher Education Data and Information Improvement Programme (HEDIIP) programme, the data capability project designed, prototyped, published trained and consulted on the data capability toolkit. The goal was to allow providers of all sizes to understand their existing maturity level and build a case and a plan to improve it in line with the needs of their organisation. Additionally, in January 2016, Data Capability: A call to action was published by the project, analysing the self-assessment data from over 100 HE institutions.


There are significant changes in the HE information landscape. The HEDIIP New Landscape Report identified four areas that will be pivotal to achieving greater cohesion in data collections and a reduction in burden. One of the areas identified is ‘enhancement of HE provider’s data maturity and capability‘. Another building block, ‘rationalisation of data collections through a transformed HESA collection process’ puts in-year collections on the horizon, delivered through the Data Futures Programme. The vision of this programme is a modernised and more efficient approach to collecting data which will require a modernised and efficient approach to data management across the sector. It is therefore vital that in order to accommodate such changes the outputs of the HEDIIP Data Capability work are adopted by stakeholders to not only be efficient and add value but to also initiate the necessary improvement in data management capability.

There are two routes to completing the data capability toolkit. The full toolkit will provide a rigorous, cross-referenced business case linking institutional objectives to detailed activity plans. The small toolkit focuses on smaller and more tactical solutions to issues around data capability. The table below will help you choose what’s right for you.

The full toolkit will take between 4 and 6 days to complete. The small toolkit is around half of that. For help and support please contact [email protected]

Question Small toolkit Full toolkit
What size of institution are you? Small institution or conservatoire Larger institution
What is your scope of data capability change? Department or small initiative based Institution-wide
What is your route to approval? Show support for objectives/priorities Well constructed business case
What approval process structure do you have? 1-2 levels of management >2 levels of management/multiple boards
What is your cultural position? Mandate for change already gained Case has to be made