Management Insights: How important is data in the Higher Education sector?

03 January 2023

Together with their usual lectures and seminars, our MSc students are invited to attend a wide range of speaker and insight events. These events are designed to put the learnings from their course into a business context, they are also a great opportunity for the students and professionals to learn about the working trends and developments in the data science industry. 

MSc Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation student Yashika shares her experience, key findings and interpretation of the discussion with our latest speaker Duncan Ross, the Chief Data Officer of Times Higher Education (THE).


Big data in business

Mr. Duncan is a well-established figure in the field of higher education, with over two decades of experience in data analysis and management. He is THE’s Chief Data Officer, a leading provider of higher education data and analysis, where he is responsible for overseeing the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on universities and colleges around the world. 

During the event, the audience was treated to an insightful discussion on the importance of data for business organisations. Data is becoming increasingly important in business as organisations rely on it to make informed decisions and drive growth.

With the rise of big data, businesses are able to collect and analyse vast amounts of information to gain insights into their operations and customer behavior. Data can help businesses make better predictions, optimise processes, and identify opportunities for growth and innovation. 

Duncan discussed how data is used in the higher education sector and the role THE plays in collecting and assimilating the rankings of the universities and colleges, which is often taken into consideration by students while deciding on their university. 


The power of rankings 

Duncan talked about how THE calculates its university rankings using a comprehensive methodology that takes 13 performance indicators into account, which are divided into five categories: teaching, research, citations, international outlook, and industry income. These categories are designed to measure different aspects of university performance and provide a complete picture of each institution's strengths and weaknesses.

Duncan further elaborated on how THE started ranking universities based on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2019. This was to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability in higher education and to encourage universities to adopt more sustainable practices.

We learned of the key challenges THE faces in managing and analysing data. These included gathering genuine data to make sure that the rankings are true to the picture, and the strategies THE use to overcome the challenges it faces if the universities oppose THE rankings.


An hour well spent

The event was a great success and provided valuable insights for students and professionals alike. The audience was able to learn from Duncan’s wealth of experience and expertise and to engage in discussions about the future of higher education and data management. 

In conclusion, the Management Insights event at Warwick Business School is a great opportunity to interact with industry leaders and gain insight from their experiences and knowledge.

Discover more about Yashika’s course MSc Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation or download a brochure to view our other Postgraduate courses.