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Transforming the future of business schools with Heidi Plus data

Ramin Bokaian, Research Manager at the Chartered Association of Business Schools explains how Heidi Plus data is being used to transform the future of its members.

The Chartered Association of Business Schools is a membership organisation which represents over 120 business schools in the HE (higher education) sector. We run regular events, member CPD (continuing professional development) – where we answer questions and create conversations on key issues relating to business schools – as well as a range of advocacy and funding campaigns making best use of our respected research and analysis. We work with deans, professional services staff, and academics who oversee the delivery of areas including teaching and learning, research, internationalisation, and enterprise engagement. We have a wide ranging remit to represent business schools effectively and drive positive change.

Why we need high-quality HE data

One of our most important roles is to provide members with reliable and robust data on business schools. We need high-quality evidence and intelligence to inform our outputs and wider work representing them. This includes giving them intelligence on the sector as a whole, enabling them to compare themselves to others, and identifying areas where they can improve. Our sector publications, research and analysis require a range of higher education data including student, staff and finance – so we want something that brings it all together.

The single most important thing we need from any source we use to inform our work is completeness. Standardisation of data is key as we want to present the full picture rather than a patchy one. We need a comprehensive and consistent overview of members that we can collate and compare properly. This can’t always be achieved through surveys and is one of the key ways that Jisc can help us.

The solution offered by Jisc

To address the challenges above, we subscribe to Jisc’s Heidi Plus business intelligence platform each year. The breadth and quality of the higher education data available is excellent and consequently creates better outputs for members. The standardisation and completeness of the data in the platform is hugely important because it reduces the burden on our small team as we don’t need to collect or churn through as many additional sets of data. We’ve used the data to answer important questions on staff diversity numbers and benchmarking, the health of the business school sector, research funding allocations, graduate outcomes, and subject popularity trends. Members can also see how they’re performing compared to their peers and set strategic targets as a result.

One of our flagship outputs that Heidi Plus data has informed is our annual research income report where we create key performance indicators (KPI’s) for our members to use. Such insight is invaluable for them, and we’ve had great feedback from it. We’ve also found that Heidi Plus is very useful for market sizing in our CPD work such as our Certified Management & Business Educator programme, as well as assessing the overall health of business studies and pipeline of future talent.

Image showing the Chartered Association of Business Schools' Certified Management & Business Educator programme for which Heidi Plus was integral in assessing the market potential.
Chartered Association of Business Schools’ Certified Management & Business Educator programme for which Heidi Plus was integral in assessing the market potential.

“The standardisation and completeness of the data in Heidi Plus is hugely important.”

Ramin Bokaian, Research Manager, Chartered Association of Business Schools.

The results for our business and the impact on members

Heidi Plus has become priceless for us and we’ve seen a significant, measurable impact from using it across the organisation. The data it hosts is comprehensive, accurate, credible and helps us to represent our members effectively. There have been increases in our member satisfaction scores relating to data and analysis as well as positive feedback in response to the insights and outputs that they can access free of charge through our newsletter and online. We use our reports at events to prompt helpful member discussions and debates to move the sector forward on important topics. Our outputs also help us to campaign for sector funding and give us clear, quantifiable evidence to point to in our advocacy efforts and campaigns.      

Heidi Plus is now our first port of call for HE data and we’d be stuck without it. Our members get a lot of benefit from our analysis of it and our focus on using data to inform our work makes it a good all-round experience. I’m impressed that Jisc are always looking to develop the service too. I sit on the Heidi Plus advisory group and our feedback last year translated into a new suite of finance trends dashboards making the data easier to compare over time. This approach to continuous improvement further enhances the usability of an excellent platform which we value a lot.    

Image showing the Chartered Association of Business Schools’ Research Income report which is built using analysis of Heidi Plus.
Chartered Association of Business Schools’ Research Income report which is built using analysis of Heidi Plus.

“Heidi plus is now our first port of call for HE data and we’d be stuck without it. Our members get a lot of benefit from our analysis of it and our focus on using data to inform our work makes it a good all-round experience.”

Ramin Bokaian, Research Manager, Chartered Association of Business Schools.

Looking to the future

The success of the data and analysis area of the business has allowed me to build a successful business case demonstrating importance of data in our work and enabled me to expand the team to further support our sector and members. Much of that success is attributed to the quality of the outputs we have created and Heidi Plus has contributed significantly to that. 

As we expand, we need to continue to represent business schools and the wider sector effectively whilst maintaining our service and publication growth to ensure that members have their voices heard.

“Heidi Plus has become priceless for us and we’ve seen a significant, measurable impact from using it across the organisation. The data it hosts is comprehensive, accurate, credible and helps us to represent our members effectively.”

Ramin Bokaian, Research Manager, Chartered Association of Business Schools.

About Heidi Plus

Jisc’s data analytics and visualisation platform Heidi Plus hosts a range of valuable higher education datasets. It is widely used by UK universities and is also accessible for those organisations who support the sector such as professional, statutory and regulatory bodies, HE sector bodies and government departments, agencies and public bodies. These datasets include information on students, staff, finances, graduates, business and community interaction and much more. The data can be visualised easily using the cloud-based Tableau environment and provides outstanding insight.

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Contacts details for Chartered Association of Business Schools

Phone number – 0207 236 7678

Email – ramin.bokaian@charteredabs.org

Website – charteredabs.org

Twitter – twitter.com/CharteredABS

Content authors – Ramin Bokaian, Research Manager, Chartered Association of Business Schools and Matt Clarke, Content insight manager, Jisc.

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