Webinar: Data in a Post-COVID World

Andy Youell, former Director of Data Policy and Governance for HESA, and Alex Leigh introduce their recent webinar which explores the value of data when preparing for the new normal.

Introducing the webinar

The data and information revolution has seen enormous changes in almost every aspect of our lives over the past 50 years.

The exponential growth in the power of information technology has hit up against the ability of us – as individuals and organisations – who find change a more difficult and time-consuming process. Moore’s Law doesn’t apply to people.

The upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a major shock to the system. It has affected the way we work, the way we communicate, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us.

The rapid shift to online delivery and distributed operations has seen a step change in our use of digital and data technologies. Adoption that would normally take years has happened in a few weeks.

As we begin to move towards a new normality, we have an opportunity to consider what we need from our data. It must help us:

  • Make decisions in an uncertain time.
  • Deliver different types of teaching and research.
  • Support students in the new world.

We also need to consider how others – especially those that assess and regulate us – will analyse and interpret our data.

Our relationship with data has sometimes been difficult. We can’t see, hear or touch it. Yet we invest significant amounts of resource into the capture and processing of data, and we often blame the data when things go wrong.

But the move out of the COVID crisis is an opportunity to forge a new relationship with data, and to drive real value from this most mercurial of assets.

Watch the webinar

Andy Youell and Alex Leigh explore these ideas in more detail in the webinar, and set out some pragmatic thoughts on what to do next.

About the speakers

Andy Youell is a writer, speaker and strategic data advisor. Formerly the Director of Data Policy and Governance at HESA, Andy has been at the leading edge of data issues across higher education over three decades. His work has covered all aspects of the data and systems lifecycle and in recent years has focussed on improving the HE sector’s relationship with data.

Alex Leigh has been passionate about putting data to work for over twenty years. He has worked with over 50 UK universities and most of the major sector bodies including HESA and UCAS. Alex has developed a number of successful data management and data governance frameworks which put culture at the heart of managing data as an asset.