Andy writes on HE data and policy issues for a number of publications including Wonkhe and Research Professional. He co-authored a chapter on data capability for a book titled Higher Education Strategy and Planning (Routledge, 2017).

If you would like to discuss a writing commission, please get in touch.

Data quality

That most slippery concept; and to do it properly data quality must be a way of life.

What is a course?

A small piece of work I did in 2011 that seems to have followed me to this day.

Three big problems with Digital Transformation Programmes

I think there are three main reasons why Digital Transformation Programmes fail; the clue’s in the name…

Hard data in a soft world

At the heart of every data project is the tension between data and the real world that it purports to describe.

Spreadsheets – a blessing or a curse?

Everybody uses spreadsheets – but why do they go wrong with such alarming regularity?

Moron spreadsheets

The fundamental issue behind the failure of spreadsheets; a collision of three design paradigms.

Who’s in control in a world of algorithms?

We launch data systems without the appropriate governance over the development and operation of the algorithms. This is when things go wrong.

How does data fail?

An ontology of data failures. More interesting than it sounds…..really.

The holy grail of insight

As we try and drive more value from data analysis how much of the data lifecycle do we need to understand?

Algorithms and tea-leaves

Using algorithms to predict or deduce the truth is a tantalising goal, but fraught with risks. Why does it keep going wrong?

Student identifiers – how hard can it be?

The most obvious use case for data standardisation in HE is fraught with difficulty and complexity. A lesson on the real-world challenges of data standardisation.

Postcodes – A lottery for us all?

The fascinating story of the postcode and how the repurposing of a piece of operational data has become one of the most ubiquitous data standards in the UK.

Why are data standards so hard?

Some key lessons from decades of failed data standards initiatives.

The relevance of jazz

When I’m not doing data, I’m playing jazz. There are great lessons for life in this experience