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Higher Education

We help Higher Education institutions leverage their data across diverse areas of information management services and technologies.

Our Expertise in Higher Education

In our data-driven world, universities face increasing pressure to deliver a positive student experience while managing tights budgets and sometimes, outdated systems.

Despite a desire to adapt, institutions are often unable to, due to funding constraints. Rising tuition fees panicking potential students and the sudden shift to digital learning due to COVID-19 adds further pressure.

But Simpson Associates are here to help you.

With our experience within higher education and our sector specific solutions (including our Student Engagement Framework and Data Analytics Accelerator for Higher Education), you can regain your confidence in the power of your data. Simpson Associates solutions future-proof your institutions data environment by prioritising scalability, utilising state-of-the-art AI and implementing current Microsoft software.

Collaborate with Simpson Associates and navigate the evolving landscape of academia with confidence.

“We are delighted to be working with Simpson Associates. Their expertise was clear throughout the selection process. With their knowledge and experience both within Data and Analytics and the Higher Education sector, they understand our challenges and objectives, so we were confident they’d be able to deliver value from this project. In addition, their approach to knowledge transfer ensures we’re upskilling our internal team too, which was really important to us.”

Paul Cotter
Head of Planning and Business Intelligence, UWE Bristol 

Other Clients

Higher Education Data

  • 86% The overall student retention rate in UK higher education institutions was approximately 86% for the 2019/2020 academic year.
  • 72% 72% of UK universities reported an increase in demand for mental health support services over the previous five years.
  • 2.5 Million In the 2019/2020 academic year, there were over 2.5 million students enrolled in UK higher education institutions.
  • £7.7 Billion UK universities received £7.7 billion in research funding in the 2019/2020 academic year, with the majority coming from government sources.

Challenges and Solutions in Higher Education

Having worked with a number of universities to develop our knowledge of the sector and create a number of specific solutions, we can solve your data queries. As no two institutions data worries are the same, be confident that our solution can be adapting to fit you, your team and your needs.

Our student data is siloed across multiple platforms and systems. How can we join up our data while ensuring compliance with strict data protection regulations in higher education?

We suggest a compliant data environment, that includes a robust data governance framework, providing you with security. By unifying your student data, you’ll unlock valuable insights to enhance student services.

It is no secret that the constant evolution of technology is affecting our IT teams work. How does your team recommend we stay ahead of the curve when implementing solutions that improve operational efficiency?

In this case, we would assess how modern technology can address your immediate needs while also being adaptable for the future. Through knowledge transfer sessions, we would also equip your team to confidently manage new technologies.

Because of how much data our institution handles, it can be difficult for us to identify common issues students are experiencing. How can we use data to provide deeper insights into the moments where we’re losing engagement?

With advanced analytics, you can identify key touchpoints in the student journey where retention may be compromised. We offer a Student Engagement Framework solution that offers granular insights, allowing you to pinpoint problem areas and implement targeted interventions to enhance retention.

Solutions & Services

We offer a range of solutions and services that have been created with Higher Education in mind. These include: Data Analytics Accelerator for Higher Education, Student Engagement Framework and our AI Assessment.

  • Solutions

  • Technologies

Student Engagement Framework

The Student Engagement Framework can help students to achieve an academic edge, improve student retention and gain higher grades, with data analytics and predictive analytics for student retention. The framework enables university personnel to gain better insight around student engagement, compare students against their cohorts and raise interventions.  

Data Analytics Accelerator for Higher Education

With our expertise in the higher education sector, we created our Data Analytics Accelerator for Higher Education in line with several universities. It provides an end-to-end cloud-based analytical solution built in Microsoft Azure that overcomes your data challenges and improves confidence within your data.  

AI Assessment

Our AI Assessment allows your force to harness the power of AI. It provides a comprehensive evaluation of how Artificial Intelligence can transform your organisation, through specific ways AI can drive efficiency and optimise operations. This assessment provides expert guidance to propel your institutions’ success. 

Fabric Accelerator

The Simpson Associates Fabric Accelerator is a comprehensive package of essential activities and tasks that will help you get started with Fabric efficiently. It includes best practice setup and configuration, as well as implementation of a data workload from source to reporting. 

Data Warehousing

Today, institutions are capturing unprecedented volumes of information that needs to be structured. We can work collaboratively with universities to offer a fully managed data warehouse that is highly elastic, enabling you to set up in minutes and scales capacity in seconds. 

Microsoft Fabric

With its comprehensive capabilities, Fabric offers a groundbreaking solution to streamline data utilization within academic institutions. By consolidating data operations onto a single, AI-powered platform tailored for the future, Fabric fosters collaboration and innovation among faculty, administrators, and students alike.

Through centralised data management, Fabric promotes transparency and accountability, essential pillars for higher education institutions striving to excel in today’s complex landscape.


Databricks provides higher education institutions with an invaluable toolset for data-driven initiatives, facilitating streamlined data processing, in-depth analytics, and cutting-edge machine learning applications.

Leveraging Databricks’ scalable infrastructure and robust analytics features, universities can extract actionable insights to elevate their educational offerings and administrative operations.

Microsoft Azure

With Azure’s scalable infrastructure, universities can effortlessly manage the increasing volumes of data generated across various departments while ensuring optimal performance and reliability.

Azure’s seamless integration with other Microsoft products fosters collaboration among faculty, staff, and students. By leveraging Azure’s capabilities, universities can streamline administrative tasks, enhance classroom experiences, and drive innovation across campus.

Higher Education Projects

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University and Simpson Associates embark on an award winning project, implementing IBM Planning Analytics powered by TM1 for Student, Resource and Financial Planning, thus unifying the planning process across the university.

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Sheffield Hallam University - MSP

Sheffield Hallam University – MSP

Sheffield Hallam University embarks on a programme to deliver Management Information university-wide, utilising Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) and Simpson Associates.

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University of Nottingham – Management Information Hub

University of Nottingham – Management Information Hub

The University of Nottingham implement a Management Information (MI) Hub to provide coherent, consistent, integrated and authoritative reporting using data from across the University’s core business systems.

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University of Nottingham - Student Planning

University of Nottingham – Student Planning

The University of Nottingham deploys a student planning application using IBM Cognos Planning, Business Intelligence and Simpson Associates.

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Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University create an Integrated planning application using IBM Planning Analytics powered by TM1 and Simpson Associates.

View Project →

Let’s harness your data to transform your organisation.

Do you have a similar problem or challenge? We’re not just a service provider; we’re your partner in transforming your organisations data for good. If you’re not sure if we’re the right fit, check out our values.

How can we help you?

Let’s discuss how we can transform your disconnected data into actionable insights for better outcomes.

Call: 01904 234 510

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