Bath Spa University builds on a proud heritage which began over 160 years ago, when it was founded as the Bath School of Art. Today, the University’s vision is to be a leading educational institution in creativity, culture and enterprise. Through innovative teaching and research, the University provides a high quality student experience. Just like all universities in the UK, Bath Spa submits an annual return of information to HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency), the official agency for the collection, analysis and dissemination of quantitative information about higher education. HESA maintains a database that houses this information, which is called HEIDI; the Higher Education Information Database for Institutions. HESA describes HEIDI as "a web-based management information service that provides easy access to a rich source of quantitative data about higher education." Bath Spa University is one of 135 institutions across the UK that chooses to subscribe to the HEIDI service, to access the nationally aggregated data, such as staff details by job category and cost centre, student details by level and mode of study, student to staff ratios, degree classifications, and income and expenditure for teaching and research. Bath Spa’s subscription to HEIDI enables them to interrogate the data and carry out benchmarking, for the benefit of the University.
"QVSource has really added value to our QlikView deployment. By automating the extraction of data from HEIDI, we now have the ability to add benchmarking data to QlikView in a matter of moments rather than days."
Bath Spa University has been using QlikView since 2008; a business discovery platform that consolidates relevant data from multiple sources into a single application. QlikView enables Bath Spa to extract, consolidate and present data from all of their internal data sources into a single view. This is a time saving tool that has been adopted by many of Bath Spa’s departments, to access and analyse data specific to their function.
Unfortunately, for Bath Spa University, the process of mining data from HEIDI was a lot more challenging; the extraction and formatting process was manual, time consuming, and prone to human error. Added to this, the University wanted to be able to compare HEIDI data with the internal data that was being so efficiently managed in QlikView, to carry out more meaningful benchmarking and analysis.
Bath Spa started collaborating with Industrial CodeBox, a QlikView Technology Partner that specialises in integrating data from online services into QlikView. Industrial CodeBox, with feedback and input from Bath Spa, designed and developed a QVSource connector to automate the process of transforming data from HEIDI into QlikView.
The QVSource HEIDI connector was created, which interrogates HEIDI to fetch the unstructured data, normalises the information into a readable format, and automatically presents it in QlikView.
Previously, the University had known that HEIDI contained a wealth of meaningful data, but had been unable to easily utilise this information. Now, data extraction from HEIDI is automated, and is presented in QlikView in an easy-to-use format, which makes the data simple to consume and actionable.
The QVSource HEIDI connector brings two significant benefits to Bath Spa University:
"The academic world is increasingly competitive and results-driven, with universities competing for funding and student numbers. The QVSource HEIDI connector means that we can now quickly carry out really meaningful benchmarking, which helps us to measure against our strategy, to develop and grow the University."