Open Data Initiatives – Empowering Students to Make More Informed Choices? - Ellucian User Conference


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Are the developments in the HEFCE and JISC XCRI XML standards finally giving students the information they need to compare one university against the other? By standardising the output of content about courses, results and post graduation success in the job market, are students better positioned to evaluate the right University for them. This presentation will answer this question and discuss how universities can utilize Web Content Management to deliver on the demands of these standards and maximise student engagement.

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Open Data Initiatives – Empowering Students to Make More Informed Choices? - Ellucian User Conference

  1. 1. Presentation to Ellucian User Conference Piero Tintori - CEO & Founder
  2. 2. About TERMINALFOUR • Established in 1996 • Focus on Higher Education • 101 education clients • UCISA, UKOLN, Educause, HiEdWeb, EduWeb, Edustyle, Uwebd and AIIM Members • Slough, Dublin, Sydney & Boston
  3. 3. Focus for today… • What is Open Data (and why is a hot topic)? • How does it apply (or at least the concepts) to Higher Education? (Jisc XCRI – HESA) • The challenges • Practical applications • The benefits (for Students and Universities) • Technical architecture: Using TERMINALFOUR to link Banner (& other data sources)
  4. 4. What is Open Data / Linked Data? • Current web: unstructured data • Build your own interactive apps… • Open Data: The sharing of structured data between organisations • Allows third parties to report upon or build applications based on your data (combined within third party data). • Other benefits: – Sector wide or international comparisons – Relatively small amount of work required by you
  5. 5. Some fantastic resources / useful links on Open Data: • (UK Government Data) • (Open University Open Data Project) • (Competition showing examples of what can be done) • (TSO Open data competition) • _on_the_next_web.html
  6. 6. Why is this important to Universities… HEFCE & Higher Education Statistics Agency KIS Data Sets: – KIS Data Sets – HEFCE: NSS for course satisfaction (including the new question on students union) – HESA: DLHE for employability – institutions: course information, accommodation – to be confirmed: fees and/or bursaries and scholarships – JISC XCRI Course Standard
  7. 7. Other uses… • Managing your paper publishing process – Prospectus – Course Catalogues / Calendars • Third party aggregation sites • Experts / research databases – Combining HR – Research management Systems – Citations Databases – Student’s Record Systems
  8. 8. The big benefits… • Help student compare courses (excellent course search) • Search Engine Optimisation Benefits • Student recruitment (via white labeling) • Reuse & repurpose your existing data • Improve data quality • Allow others to build apps based on your data (and others) • But… demands for this type of data are increasing so… a need to automate
  9. 9. For example… • Let’s consider: “I’d like to compare the cost of student accommodation across every University in the UK” • Tasks required: – Find local accommodation costs – Find the data for every other University – Combine data – Link to a mapping system – Build a reporting engine
  10. 10. A live example…• Let’s consider: “I’d like to compare the cost of student accommodation across every University in the UK”Interesting articles:• data-hackday/• student-property-heatmap/
  11. 11. The benefits of KIS for Students & Staff are exciting…
  12. 12. The challenge… Data / technical: • Identifying the data • Combining data sources • Workflow • Quality Control • Additional “soft” content • Development (avoiding “a series of technical scripts”) Organisational: • Resources / time pressures • Content updates
  13. 13. We’ve built a solution to help… • Key challenges… – Easy integrate data from different locations including Banner (securely) – Combine it with “soft content” – Identify and manage “changes” – Publish to different formats and channels – Synchronise delivery to XML output
  14. 14. Principles of TERMINALFOUR
  15. 15. Conclusion • Demands are increasing to publish, export and share your data • Strong need for an automated way of handing & controlling the data (including new data) • Numerous data sources • Data quality a key project requirement Key challenges: • Common keys between data • Audit trails and version control (what data set has been distributed to who)
  16. 16. @pierotintoriPiero Tintori - CEO & Founder