As a national awarding organisation, Open Awards is one of the more unusual users of Emsi data. In the article below, the organisation’s Head of Business and Strategy, Ben Rockliffe, explains a bit about the organisation, why they invested in Emsi data, and how they are using it in the business.
Open Awards is regulated by Ofqual and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), and operates portfolio of over 150 academic and vocational qualifications which are offered to learners in a range of settings. Our mission is to “change lives through learning” and our qualification offer is built around this. We are based in Liverpool, but have a national coverage, working with learning providers up and down the country.
We purchased Analyst — Emsi’s online data tool — around a year ago and have been using it for qualification development, marketing and supporting our centres ever since.
In qualification development the data helps create qualifications where they are needed most. We can look at national and regional trends in employment and create qualifications where the need is greatest. For example, we recently developed Track and Rail qualifications at Level 1 and Level 2 in response to data projecting a 15.8% increase in the number of jobs within the construction of railways and underground railways industry in England between now and 2021. The qualification was approved for regulation in September 2015 and the latest progression data shows good rates for successful learners progressing into work.
This approach works really well for us and all our stakeholders. We get new business because of the demand for skills; centres and employers get new qualifications in high demand sectors; and learners get jobs at the end of their studies as they have the skills that industry is seeking (see here for more details).
Analyst data has also helped us strengthen our marketing messages when pitching qualifications to centres and learners. In addition to talking about all its great features, we are able to give hard data explaining how using this qualification is a great idea for future prospects. For instance, we used data in this article which talks about why taking a STEM subject is a good idea.
Similarly, the labour market intelligence is helping us give our centres really valuable support in business planning. We can provide curriculum managers with a detailed local economy overview, showing where the growth areas in employment are likely to be and how they link through to our qualifications. Centre staff can then use the data we supply to make compelling cases to use our provision (check out the article here for more details).
In 2017 we are taking a full review of our three year strategic plan, and we will be using Emsi data to help inform our decisions.
To find out more about how Emsi data can help your organisation make better decisions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org