Latest Analytics Labs cohort complete

The first Analytics Labs teams of 2017/18 have just completed their 12 weeks of agile dashboard development. Participants (35 from 27 HE organisations) presented their work at a showcase event in Manchester on 7 February. Using the unique supported approach and secure data processing environment, teams have been developing their data and analytics skills, and creating potential future dashboards for the sector on topics including:

  • Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Metrics, including comparison of Research Excellence Framework outcomes with TEF outcomes, and impact of TEF on recruitment, grade inflation and destinations of leavers.
  • Career Calculator and Market Gap Analysis, to help identify career pathways for students and gaps in the market to inform future course development.
  • Student retention and campus connectivity, linking London specific data such as Transport for London and crime data with to identify trends in student retention and causes for students to drop out.
  • Sickness absence, workforce age and student growth and careers & diversity. A dedicated UHR (Universities Human Resources) and UCEA (Universities and Colleges Employers Association) team explored sickness absence in HE and the ability to benchmark institutions against the wider sector. They also explored the correlation between teaching staff age and student growth, and gender and ethnicity split across the sector in the context of career progression.

Dashboards were well received by the audience of peers and panel of experts from Jisc, HESA and the Community Dashboards’ Strategic Advisory Group on the day – those deemed most valuable to the sector may be released into the community for evaluation as Community Dashboards Beta. Selected beta dashboards will be fully quality controlled and polished before release as full Community Dashboards for use by the wider sector.

The experience of attendees has once again been positive, with indviduals describing their time with Analytics Labs as ‘amazing’, ‘satisfying’, ‘enjoyable’ and ‘motivating’. Participants also noted that they had developed and honed skills and knowledge that could be applied to their work roles. This feedback builds on the responses to the Labs’ experience that we have been inspiring since the first teams took part in 2015.

The event was also an opportunity for outgoing teams to meet the new teams starting their Analytics Labs journey this week – more on the themes they will be exploring will be posted here soon.

Does Analytics Labs sound like something you’d like to be involved in in the future? Then email us to register your interest

By Marc Dobson

Subject specialist (technology to support enterprise)

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