Overview - Overview of your idea§ Technology - How will your idea be delivered (Website? Mobile?)§ Data - Where will the data come from?§ Marketing - Why will the idea work, who will use it, how will you get people to use it?§ Competition – Are there already any other similar products available which could be competition for your idea?§ Revenue forecasts – How will your idea support itself once it’s been developed?§ Conclude – Why should TSO invest in your idea?
I thought the competition was as much about opening up the data as anything…However, there a couple of good business reasons for doing this…
UCAS is the clearing house for applying to university in the UK. It maintains a comprehensive directory of HE courses available in the UK.
If released as open data, and particularly as Linked Open Data, the course data can be used to support:- the release of data by HEIs, from course catalogues to open educational resources related to courses, course based reading lists, book recommendations etc;- the development of services supporting student choice – for example “compare the uni” type services
At the moment the data is siloed inside UCAS behind a search engine with unfriendly session based URLs and a poor results UI.
Making the data available via an API or Linked data store makes it easier for third parties to build course related services of whatever flavour – course comparison sites, badging services, resource recommendation services.
An appropriately designed data store, and corresponding ingest routes, might encourage HEIs to start releasing the course data themselves in a more structured way.
Ultimately, we might be able to aggregate data from locally maintained local data stores.
Several recent JISC project have started to explore the release of course related activity data on the one hand, and Linked Data approaches to enterprise wide data management on the other. What is currently lacking is national data-centric view over all HEIs. UCAS has that data.
Consumer services are also a possibility. As HEIsecome more businesslike, treating students as customers, and paying customers at that, we might expect to see the appearance of university course comparison sites.
Last year, I pulled together a few separate published datasets and through them into Google Fusion Tables, then plotted the results. Guardian datablog picked up the post, and I still get traffic from there on a daily basis…
Enter something like compare the uni, but data driven, and providing aggregated views over data from universities and courses.
The key is course data – this provides a reasonably fine grained
Short term model would be advertising (e.g. course/uni ads), affiliate fees on booksales.Medium term – affiliate for for prospectus application/fulfilmentLong term – affiliate fee for course registration
Access to UCAS University Course Data<br />Tony Hirst<br />Dept of Communication and Systems<br />The Open University<br />