Hiatus over…..Team #VisualisingHE breaking the drought with some fun with HE Provider Financial data.
Back in March 2019 HESA ‘sprung’ a never-before-public release of HE provider institutional finances. Prior to 2019 this level of institutional data has been available to key contacts within institutions through HEIDIPlus platform within institutions – and paying customers. However as part of HESA’s open data programme we can access and visualise more than ever before.
Finance data release
HESA’s new release of Finance data, is the first time HESA has released its full Finance record as open data, freely available for re-use under the Creative Commons 4.0 licence. As well as income and expenditure analysis the release includes HE providers balance sheets, cash flow and capital expenditure.
What do HESA collect from Providers?
HESA collect financial data (submitted in the winter of each academic year in templates provided by HESA) from universities , colleges, and other HE providers in the UK and covers income, expenditure, balance sheets, statement of gains and losses, capital expenditure, senior staff pay and Key Financial Indicators. details on what is collected under each of these broad terms are on HESA’s definitions pages.
Where to start?
Team #VisualisingHE have pondered this data release for some months, and whilst there is a whole lot of juicy figures to dive into, by way of introduction to the HE Finance data, we thought that we should focus some of this post on ‘introducing’ the finance data and the first publication of the Key Financial Indicators (presented as a three year time series).
Key Financial Indicators or KFI’s for short, are compiled using information provided to HESA as part of the HESA Finance record. The KFI’s defined and shown below are a set of ratios extracted from the finance record. They are not performance indicators and take no account of provider-level characteristics such as the range of subjects taught or the types of provision provided.
What are the 9 KFI measures?
- Days ratio of Total net assets to total expenditure
- External borrowing as a percent of total income
- Net cash inflow from operating activities as a percent of total income
- Net liquidity days
- Premises cost as a percent of total costs
- Ratio of current assets to current liabilities
- Staff costs as a percent of total income
- Surplus/Deficit as a percent of total income
- Unrestricted reserves as a percent of total income
For definitions of the KFI’s detailing the numerators/denominators see here
What have team #VisualisingHE done?
Team #VisualisingHE have focused on trying to present these data as simply and cleanly as possible. A #TableauKISS you might say.
Adam came come up with a KFI scorecard, heavily critiqued by both Elena and Dave to settle on the dashboard below, where a single provider can be chosen, the benchmark be selected (sector, country or region) and the dashboard simply presents a provider overview of indicators:
- Current (2017/8) figure
- Year on year percent change
- Provider vs Benchmark comparison trend
- Sector distribution (and percentile on tooltip)
Interactive Viz: Key financial Indicator (KFI) Scorecard
Dave decided to have a ‘rustle’ around the ‘Russell group’ to see what he could find…..
Whilst playing around with the income and expenditure data we were struck by how much Russell Group institutions dominated with nearly half the income going to the small number of Russell Group institutions compared to the large number of non Russell Group institutions. These is also increasing over the time period.
Interactive Viz: “The Russell group and the rest – Income in UK Higher Education”
My go to: WONKHE gives HE data a timely on the button exploration of data releases. Here David Kernohan put together an excellent first exploration of this data within moments of this data being released for the first time and is always my go to for initial headlines and points of analysis. HESA institutional finance 2019 release: KFI is going to rock you published in March 2019.
Thanks for reading, and as always we would love to hear your thoughts and critique.
We love to viz, write and discuss all things HE, but most of all we love to learn, so let us know what you think.
Adam, Dave and Elena.