UCL News


Data Strategy to optimise potential of one of UCL’s most valuable assets

14 June 2023

UCL’s first enterprise-wide Data Strategy has been published, setting out a vision for how we use data to achieve our goals and build a culture that values it. 


The strategy covers enterprise data in all its forms, including student, education and research administration, finance, HR, and estates data. Academic research data is out of scope, as it is covered by the complementary Research Data Strategy.  

                                  Read the Data Strategy 2023-27

Delivering the strategy will improve the quality of our data in terms of completeness, accuracy, timeliness, consistency and accessibility. It will establish a trusted single source of management information and it will enable us to monitor and drive the delivery of UCL’s Strategic Plan 2022-27 – and subsidiary plans – using a set of agreed institutional Key Performance Indicators (KPI).   

The strategy document explores our existing data challenges and articulates how the experience of staff will change as our data culture matures, with better access to trusted data, insight and analytics. There will be clear career paths for analysts, opportunities to undertake Data & Insight Apprenticeships, and greater collaboration between academic and professional service teams.

Delivery of the strategy will focus on prioritised use-cases which will solve users’ everyday data problems by leveraging automation, academic expertise and advanced analytics. Medium term aims are to achieve a common understanding of our data priorities, align and invest effort and resources in people, tools and technology, and ensure accountability for data while remaining secure and compliant. In the longer term, we will address our most pressing challenges with data-driven solutions, using more automation and advanced artificial intelligence techniques.   

Paul Clark, Vice-President (Strategy) said: ‘Data is a vital asset for UCL. By implementing this ambitious data strategy, delivering its use-cases, developing more advanced capabilities, and giving data due consideration during change, we will become a proactive, then a predictive and optimising data organisation.’   

Next steps for the Data Strategy  

The first stage of implementation will see the development of solutions to the use-cases prioritised in the strategy, for example, poor staff data quality, the optimisation of admissions offers targets and development of a governed master source of estates data.     

A Data Strategy Steering Group will be convened to steer the implementation of the strategy. The membership, which will be published soon, will be drawn from UMC, professional services and academic colleagues with expertise in data and statistics.  

What you can do next  

  • Review the use-cases and contact dataandinsight@ucl.ac.uk if you can bring experience and ideas to solve them.   
  • Make sure you know who owns the data you are working with and seek permission if you want to use it in a new way.  
  • Report any issues you have when working with data so these can be assessed and prioritised accordingly.  
  • If you are part of a product or platform in a Change & Digital portfolio, look out for opportunities to get involved in the Reporting & Analytics Modernisation Programme, which will use technology and process to improve the speed, efficiency and quality of the development and delivery of reporting and analytics.
  • Sign up to get one of the last spots at the UCL Data Quality conference on Thursday, 13 July from 10:30am to 2:30pm (run by the Data & Insight Community of Practice, D&I CoP).
  • Join the D&I CoP to take part in lunch and learns and discuss and share data best practice with other like-minded professionals.   
  • Request Tableau access to join 800 other UCL staff who use Tableau D&I dashboards each month.