Telephone: 0114 2572 200

Opportunities and challenges?

The University sector is facing growing financial pressures and a need to improve student outcomes and research productivity. Student applications to enrol at Universities are decreasing and the short to medium term trends indicate that this will only continue. Universities are competing with one another for an increasingly smaller student cohort requiring their educational offer to students, retention rates and student outcomes to be at the very highest levels to ensure financial sustainability. Brexit and recent restructuring within research councils questions the availability of research funding at existing levels. In this competitive environment, there will be inevitably winners and losers. The winners will have understood their own business performance and the market they compete in through deep analysis of all the available data. Those Universities that succeed will have the brightest and best local and international student communities and exciting funded research projects. Losers will find it difficult to attract students and research funding. Ultimately, their very survival as a viable institution will be in doubt.

  • Financial and funding pressures
  • Shrinking student population
  • Fewer lucrative international students coming to the UK
  • Need to improve the student education offer and outcomes
  • Competitive pressures (domestic / international)
  • Pressures on retaining key staff
  • Optimising staff and asset performance
  • Reporting & Governance
  • Concerns on research funding due to Brexit
  • Win more grant funded research
  • Greater engagement with Industry
  • Stronger links and support with / from Alumni

The need for Data Analytics

In this intensely competitive environment, existing management systems need to be considerably more contextual, comprehensive, accurate and timely than what we currently see. The key to managing University performance better is contained within the incredible amount of data both generated and stored by the Universities and external bodies. There is more information available than can be managed or mined by conventional process and reporting methods and only sophisticated and structured data management and analytics systems can extract the insights that provide management and staff with what they need to plan and optimise operational, financial, student and research performance. 5 to 7% improvements in performance targets and KPI’s should be expected from an integrated University wide deployment of Data & Analytics, creating many £M’s in additional revenues and savings. Outcomes in student and research performance can be expected at similar levels positively impacting the University standing on UK and World rankings as well as REF and TEF.

  • Accurate and timely management data for planning and real-time management of for example, student marketing, enrolment, retention, financial management and research grant applications.
  • Intuitive and context sensitive reports and outputs simplified from masses of data from many sources
  • Managers and staff make better decisions by being informed by descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analytics 
  • Coherent and robust plans with clarity about the most important priorities – updated with real-time performance against plan and remedial actions for plan deviations (using machine learning)
  • Automate reporting improving accuracy while reducing staff overheads
  • Integrate data analysis and sharing with other healthcare agencies to manage capacity, improve workflow and deliver holistic patient care. 
  • Identify, recruit and retain the best students, teaching and research staff

Why OCF DATA for higher education?

For Data & Analytics deployments to transform performance, providers need to combine the best know-how of the business processes, technology and data science. OCF DATA has an unrivalled set of skills in all these areas and provides solutions as individually configured services to meet the specific business challenges and needs of the user organisation. We have:

Industry knowledge

  • Our team has 50-plus years collective experience in delivering analytics projects for customers.
  • Our employees have a background working with a wide range of well known-companies e.g. IBM, TATA and Yorkshire Water.

World leading technology

  • Our focus is to design a solution to meet your business challenges and we achieve this by working with leading analytics technology vendors including SAS, IBM, Atos and Panintelligence.

Skilled people and clear methodologies

  • OCF DATA can accelerate your organisation on the journey to realising value from connected data and analysis.  Whether starting from scratch or maximising value from existing investments, the OCF DATA consultative approach is flexible enough to fit regardless of current situation and capabilities.
  • Our solutions provide value to your business, through the combination of your business processes, technology and data science.
  • Our accreditations include the internationally recognised ISO27001 for our Information Management System.

Heritage in high performance computing

  • OCF DATA is supported by the wider OCF group which specialises in supporting the significant big data challenges of private and public UK organisations. With a 15-year heritage in HPC, managing big data challenges, OCF works with over 20 per cent of the UK's Universities, Higher Education Institutes and Research Councils, as well as commercial clients from a range of industries.

"Customers are transforming their businesses by adopting Data and Analytics solutions and services designed and delivered by OCF DATA using advanced and market leading analytics technologies from SAS."

Ian Cosnett, SAS

"Thanks to our work with SAS and OCF, we now have capabilities that set us apart from our competition, and place us at the forefront of healthcare analytics."

Dr Mike Moores, Director, Integrated Radiological Services

Contact Us

Unit 5 Rotunda Business Centre,
Thorncliffe Park, Chapeltown,
Sheffield, S35 2PG

Tel: +44 (0)114 257 2200
Fax: +44 (0)114 257 0022

OCF Hotline: 0845 702 3829

The Innovation Centre, Sci-Tech Daresbury,
Keckwick Lane, Daresbury,
Cheshire, WA4 4FS

Tel: +44 (0)1925 607 360
Fax: +44 (0)114 257 0022

OCF DATA Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. Registered number 9375861. Registered office address: OCF DATA Ltd, 5 Rotunda Business Centre, Thorncliffe Park, Chapeltown, Sheffield, S35 2PG

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