Head of Student Data Reporting

University of Derby

Job details


Strategic Insights and Planning

Responsible to

Interim Director of Strategic Insights and Planning


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus


£54,377 to £67,971 per annum (for exceptional performers, there is scope for further progression up to £78,167 per annum)

Closing date

Sunday 2 July 2023

Contract type


Post type




About the role

In this key leadership role, you will be responsible for the effective delivery of the University’s key student statutory returns, designing and maintaining effective data governance strategies to ensure that all data is fully compliant with relevant regulation and legislation. You will lead the Student Data Reporting team, which is responsible for delivering statutory data reporting to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the Office for Students (OfS), and other Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies as required.

As well as managing the preparation and submission of relevant returns, you will devise and deliver ongoing data quality improvements by designing and implementing robust processes, procedures, and working practices, working with professional services and academic staff to raise awareness of, and ensure compliance with, these processes. You will work closely with a range of stakeholders across the University to drive the student data quality agenda and will keep the senior management team informed of key risks and developments in relation to the statutory reporting landscape. You will also develop the use of new technologies, including a new data management platform and software such as Alteryx, to improve efficiency and data quality.

Working closely with the existing project team, you will act as the business lead in the completion of the transition project to new student data returns processes as part of HESA Data Futures.

Principal accountabilities

  • Lead the University’s Student Data Reporting function, defining and establishing a strategic vision for the team within the University’s strategic framework.
  • Lead a team of specialists in a consistently high-performing, knowledgeable and resilient cross-functional team, and create and lead an internal community of practice for colleagues whose work impacts on student data quality.
  • Lead the transition to new student return processes as part of HESA Data Futures, introducing effective oversight and extend assurance mechanisms across all relevant returns.
  • Build effective working relationships with key stakeholders across the University, relevant colleagues across the sector and in external agencies in order to identify requirements, timelines, and knowledge transfer needs throughout the team and relevant stakeholders.
  • Work with and influence senior colleagues across the University on the strategic and operational benefits of data governance, the importance of embedding an intelligence-led approach to statutory reporting requirements, and the assessment of risk relating to these requirements and the introduction of appropriate mitigation measures.
  • Provide expert knowledge and leadership to the preparation of data returns based on an understanding of the University’s business, the processes and systems that generate and manage data and the agreed means by which the University’s data is presented in order to meet sector norms.
  • Define and embed the longer-term student data reporting roadmap, establishing appropriate data governance and data management arrangements and developing plans for continuous improvement.
  • Provide expert advice, guidance and training as required to ensure the university’s data collection and governance business processes are in line with statutory expectations.
  • Statutory and other Regulatory Returns

  • Lead on the establishment, development and delivery of a strategic framework for the delivery of student statutory returns (including, but not limited to: HESA Student/Data Futures, UNISTATS/Discover Uni, AOR, and ITT), ensuring that they are compliant, of high quality, and delivered on time and in line with sector best practice.
  • Undertake analysis and brief senior staff on the outputs and impact of the returns as part of the sign-off process.
  • Ensure that data contained in statutory returns is optimised for competitive advantage.
  • Influence the practice of external agencies and negotiate appropriate arrangements for reporting the university’s activities in relation to their requirements, to ensure that appropriate decisions are made in interpreting requirements in the presentation of university metrics.
  • Data Quality

  • Lead and promote the student data quality agenda across the University.
  • Creating data quality solutions to strengthen student data sets and support reporting and analysis.
  • Lead on the use of new technologies to improve efficiency and data quality, including a new data management platform and software such as Alteryx.
  • Systems

  • Act as subject matter expert for developments to the Peoplesoft student records system to respond to changes in statutory reporting requirements.
  • Work with the Registry Systems team to deliver required changes to the Peoplesoft Campus Management student records system, defining requirements, and facilitating testing.
  • Person specification
    Essential Criteria

    • Postgraduate degree level or with significant equivalent work-based experience at a senior level.


    • Demonstrable and proven track record in developing and delivering HESA student statutory returns.
    • Demonstrated experience of leading cross-functional technical teams in a complex organization, and the proven experience of leading, managing, and developing staff including coaching and mentoring.
    • Demonstrable experience of designing and implementing efficient and effective processes, procedures, and working practices.
    • Demonstrable experience of the manipulation, analysis and presentation of large volumes of numeric data, including experience of proprietary software used in managing and analysing large datasets.
    • Demonstrable experience of effective engagement with key external stakeholders, such as regulatory bodies or regulators, at a strategic level.

    Skills, knowledge & abilities

    • Demonstrable knowledge of higher education (HE) student data and records systems (e.g. Peoplesoft) and the ability to devise and implement new ways of automating and managing business processes related to HE data.
    • Advanced proficiency in using leading tools (e.g. Power BI, Tableau, SQL, Alteryx) to manage, manipulate, visualise, analyse and report on business data.
    • Exceptional customer service and stakeholder engagement skills.
    • Proven ability to scope, devise, plan and manage the delivery of complex data and analytical projects.
    • Demonstrated analytical planning, and problem-solving skills, and the ability to produce clear, intuitive, data-informed outputs (reports, tables, visuals) and present findings to executive level.
    • Proven ability to negotiate and influence external stakeholders, senior management and colleagues to gain support, understanding and cooperation to achieve a desired course of action consistent with the organisation’s strategic goals and objectives.

    Desirable Criteria

    • Experience of building workflows in Alteryx.
    • Experience of working with Peoplesoft.

    How to apply

    You can apply by submitting an online application. Once you have signed in or registered with us you will be able to begin your application. If you are creating an account for the first time, please ensure you provide an email address that you access regularly as this will be our main means of contacting you regarding your application.

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    If you require any assistance, including the provision of any documentation in an alternative format, please contact the Recruitment team at [email protected] .

    Please note all applications must be submitted online by Midnight GMT on the closing date of the vacancy.

    Important information

    Applications from job seekers who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications.

    Whilst this role is eligible for sponsorship under the Skilled Worker Route, we recommend that you assess your individual eligibility before applying for this position.

    Visit https://www.gov.uk/skilled-worker-visa for more information.

    To be eligible for sponsorship you must provide evidence that you hold all essential qualifications listed on the job description. Please note, equivalent experience will not be accepted as evidence of the essential qualifications.

    Equality, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing

    The University of Derby is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion. However you identify, we actively celebrate the knowledge, experience and talents each person brings.

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    Further details

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    Why join Derby?

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