Our ‘Guardians of the Data’ provide Bath's digital transformation power stones

Posted in: Data & Insight, Digital Transformation Programme

Data Stewards play a vital role in the University's digital transformation, which will transform teaching, connect research and enrich student and staff experiences.


AI generated image of 7 people standing in front of modern looking buildings and each holding colourful 'power stones' in their hands.
Data is the 'power stones' that will unlock Bath's digital transformation potential.












Last month, UK universities gathered to debate pressing topics such as reimagining teaching, student experiences and university operations in the age of AI and digital transformation.

The possibilities are endless and exciting, yet there are significant challenges to navigate.

Bath’s Digital Transformation Programme delivers projects that use new and emerging technologies to implement the University’s digital strategy.


Data is the ‘fuel’ that will power our digital transformation

Most digital transformation projects rely on integrated, robust and reliable data.

Put simply, data is the ‘fuel’ that will power our digital transformation and deliver benefits such as personalised student support, teaching and assessment innovations and operational efficiency gains.

However, much of our data is stored in siloed IT systems such as SAMIS, Moodle, XPlan, Pure, Agresso, Archibus and Syllabus+, and therefore not easily aggregated.

Data quality is another core digital transformation challenge. Only with a continuous focus on good data governance, will we have robust and reliable data we can trust. This is why Bath’s Data Stewards are among the superheroes of Bath’s digital transformation.


Unlocking our digital transformation potential

The university has over 100 Data Stewards who are our experts in a specific data area.

Bath's Data Stewards manage the vital data that underpin all university operations.

They also help draft business glossary definitions, fix data quality issues and ensure we have a single source of truth. They also work across data silos and university departments to ensure our data is fit for a plethora of uses. From admissions, recruitment, education delivery, research and hospitality bookings to alumni relationship management.


What drives successful student outcomes?

Student data is one example of the important work Data Stewards do. They ensure we can trust the information we hold about current and previous students so it can be used to shape our student experiences for the better.

Trusted student data enables us to uncover what drives successful student outcomes and what interventions deliver the desired results.

This insight in turn give us the 'information tools' we need to deliver educational excellence and foster an outstanding and inclusive community for all students.

That is why, before we can unlock the potential of digital transformation across campus, we must focus on our data and data integration.


Using data-generated insight to deliver exciting new digital innovations

With over 150 different data storage systems at the university and limited integration between them, we spend too much time on manual data handling. With readily available integrated data, we could instead focus on using data-generated insight to deliver exciting new digital innovations.

The Data and Insights Project has been trying to do just this to enable the delivery of the University's digital strategy.


Over the past year, the Data & Insight project has:

  • Delivered a rigorous Data Governance Framework and started to implement this.
  • Made significant improvements to the University’s data analytics capabilities.
  • Build a secure and well-architected University Data Hub and brough data into this from SAMIS, Moodle, XPlan, Archibus and Pure.

The next project phase will focus on further developing the University Data Hub (UDH) and the quality of our university data.

The University Data Hub and the Data Governance Framework are the foundations for a single cross-campus data marketplace.

Creating a single data marketplace brings multiple benefits: It will be a place where colleagues can get quality-assured datasets that meet their operational needs. It will also remove data ambiguity and allow us to speak a "single language" where questions such as "How many PhD students are there at Bath?" only have one answer.

As the first phase of the University’s Data & Insight Project wraps up, our next blog post will share with you the valuable insights the three Data & Insight pilot projects have uncovered within the areas: Education, Research and Campus Infrastructure.

Achieving this would not have been possible without Bath’s Data Stewards’ hard work and their continued focus on improving data governance.

Thank you!

Gavin Edwards

Chief Data & Technology Officer


If you have any questions or suggestions, please do get in touch: gje30@bath.ac.uk

Find out more about the Data & Insight Project, which is part of the University’s Digital Transformation Programme.

Posted in: Data & Insight, Digital Transformation Programme

Data & Insight Project