Recruitment now open. Join an Analytics Labs Development Team

Update 23 February 2017: our April – July teams are now full, but we are still keen to receive applications from people interested in taking part in later cycles from July 2017

Jisc and HESA are collaborating to take Business Intelligence to as wide an audience in Higher Education as possible ( The production service, Heidi-Plus ( delivers data-derived insights as interactive dashboards to a very large audience. Jisc has developed an approach to refresh the content through our community led dashboard creation model Analytics Labs (

We are offering a unique opportunity for business intelligence experts together with those who have data analysis and visualisation experience to join us in an exciting initiative, Analytics Labs ( The effort required is just 0.2 FTE over 3 months. For that you’ll get a fantastic professional development experience as we create new content through:

  • Accessing a wider range of datasets than is currently possible, for experimentation purposes, safely and affordably
  • Identifying currently unknown trends and insights to provide an evidence base for sound business decisions
  • Innovating through collaborative working, for example across institutional functions

Are you interested in joining one of our teams? Here are a few reasons why we think you should….

For your organisation:

  • Saves effort
  • Gain access to insights you may not have had in-house capacity or capability to realise alone
  • Remove some of the resource-heavy duplication of effort
  • Previous participants have reported potentially significant time savings
  • Saves money
  • Gain access to dashboards which will be chargeable to non-participating organisations
  • Procurement, software licences and service delivery are all taken care of
  • A wide range of efficiencies and improved effectiveness due to the insights themselves
  • Highly skilled staff through 12 days of professional development
  • Gain access to an extensive range of datasets, many of which are unavailable or prohibitively expensive

For participants:

  • Gain experience of practices outside of your organisation, by joining a cross-institutional team
  • Get practical experience of using Agile development
  • Develop new skills through working with the Analytics Labs toolset (based on Tableau and Alteryx)
  • Apply the new knowledge, expertise and insights to benefit you and your organisation

How do I apply?

Application is via a simple online form ( and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. We will endeavour to match applicants to teams in their areas of interest indicated on the form that they are keen to explore. The process closes on 17/02/2017. We will inform successful applicants by 03/03/2017.

Direct any queries to M[email protected] or [email protected]

What commitment is expected?

Building on three successful cohorts, we intend to run the fourth cycle of development teams over the 3 months January – April 2017. Cycle 5 will run April to July 2017.   Our Agile development model expects as little as 15 days (roughly 0.2 FTE) over each 3 month cycle for team members as outlined in the table below.

Activity Timing Method Duration Effort / cycle
Webinar and Startup meeting Week 1

(w/c 03 Apr & 05 Apr)


face to face

1 day 1 day
Sprint planning Week 2

(w/c 10 Apr)

Face to face 1 day 1 day
Remote team development time Weeks 3, 4, 5

(w/c 24 Apr to w/c 08 May)

Remote 1 day

(more welcome)

3 days
Sprint planning Week 6

(w/c 15 May)

Face to face 1 day 1 day
Remote team development time Week 7, 8

(w/c 22 May to w/c 29 May)

Remote 1 day

(more welcome)

2 days
Sprint planning Week 9 (w/c 05 Jun) Face to face 1 day 1 day
Remote team development time Week 10, 11, 12

(w/c 12 Jun to w/c 26 Jun)

Remote 1 day

(more welcome)

3 days
All hands meeting Week 13 (05 Jul) Face to face 1 day 1 day


There is no charge to take part, however participants are expected to cover their own travel and subsistence costs when attending face to face project meetings.

In addition to Team members we are also seeking team leaders. These will be heads, assistant heads or similarly senior roles charged with steering each team toward creating widely applicable outputs. We anticipate the effort to average out at just 7 days for an entire (3 month) development cycle.

How will Jisc and HESA support this?

  • Technical and legal framework, including Data Protection Act training
  • Project management, technical and data consultancy to each team
  • Access to data for experimentation purposes
  • All software

Here’s what a previous participant thought about taking part:

“I endorse the opportunity provided by the Heidi-Lab [Analytics Lab] initiative. Three of our analysts have taken part, and I have also led one of the teams: we have all found it to be a valuable CPD experience and enjoyed working with analysts from other universities, with the added bonus of developing something which HESA can actually implement for the sector’s benefit. Do consider applying or encouraging a colleague.”

Kathryn Heywood, Business intelligence Manager, Durham University

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