HESA appoints Civica Digital for Data Futures

Partners will work on technology to improve data from higher education sector with planned implementation in 2019-20

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has appointed Civica Digital to work with its Data Futures programme, collecting data and information from more than 250 higher education providers across the UK.

Students in mortarboardsThe company said it will work with the Data Futures team at HESA to develop the technology to underpin the programme, with a user-centred solution for higher education institutions to find more insights from their data in areas including student recruitment, retention and performance. 

Adrian Crossley, director of technology at HESA, said the first step should be the development of a detailed design of the system by the end of July.

HESA anticipates rolling out the new system in 2019-20 and said it should be future proofed so that higher education data could keep pace with changes in the sector.

Chris Doutney, managing director of Civica Digital – the recently formed digital services division of Civica – said: “Data collection, management and analysis is becoming a top priority for many organisations throughout the public sector.

New model

“Our partnership with the Data Futures team at HESA will support a new collection model that will allow HESA and its customers to collect, explore and exploit their data much more quickly, delivering insight and value sooner.”

HESA’s project guidance document for the programme, published in April of last year, said the existing emphasis on collecting higher education data once a year was unsustainable. Many organisations have been doing so in-year, which has led to a lack of structure and undermined the quality of data.

Its tender notice valued the deal at £7.5 million with an initial duration of four years, although it has said it could be stretched to as long as 14 years.

 Picture from rawdonfox, CC 2.0 through flickr