The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and Jisc have developed an agreement with both the Guardian and the Times/Sunday Times to publish interactive dashboards of rankings and measures drawn from their higher education (HE) league tables.
It is the first time that both sets of data, from 2015 to 2018, have been combined into one collection of data visualisations.
The dashboards are now available to all higher education providers that submit data to HESA, via the Heidi Plus business intelligence platform. The dashboards have been designed and produced by HESA based on original concepts by teams from our Analytics Labs, part of our business intelligence project.
Universities have, until now, had to manually compile the data from both league tables and undertake their own time-consuming analysis to assess how the rankings and measures change between years.
The league tables use different criteria and weightings so comparing them has been problematic and often misleading. However, the new dashboards enable universities to accurately and rapidly compare and analyse:
- Competitor information at provider and subject level
- Changes in rank year on year
- The highest climbers and the biggest ‘fallers’
- Changes in data definitions and methodology over time
In May 2018, when the Guardian publishes its latest league tables, the dashboards will be updated within days.
“We are very excited to release this new suite of data dashboards within Heidi Plus”
said Jonathan Waller, HESA’s director of information and analysis.
“They are the result of a groundbreaking collaboration between colleagues from HE providers, the Times/Sunday Times and the Guardian, together with Jisc and HESA.
We believe they will provide valuable insights for UK higher education and look forward to continuing our collaborative work with the sector to develop the growing range of analytics and business intelligence resources available through Heidi Plus.”
Myles Danson, our senior co-design manager, said:
“With the importance of league table position to institutions, the data and new dashboards that this agreement makes available will give invaluable insight to vice-chancellors and senior leaders. We expect they will be widely used and will become another valued feature delivered through HESA and Jisc’s close collaboration around the Heidi Plus service."
"Having access to the data from these two league tables in this interactive format will save significant time on data preparation within my team and amongst our many counterparts in planning offices across the sector,”
said Sally Turnbull, head of planning and insight, at the University of Central Lancashire, and author of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) and Higher Education Strategic Planners Assosication (HESPA) guide to UK league tables in HE.
"Although league table position does not drive our activities, we are nevertheless conscious that they are one of the primary ways in which potential students and other members of the public form opinions about different providers. It is, therefore, essential that we understand the ways in which our data feed into such rankings.
I welcome this development and the efficiencies it will bring to our analysis and am grateful to HESA and Jisc for their work in bringing this about.”