HEDA PlanningAbout IDSC

User Group 2016

15-17 Nov
The Roots Lifestyle Centre


THE COMPANY: a proudly South African company in operation since 2003. Our motto of “SIMPLICITY THROUGH INNOVATION” is a challenge which IDSC delivers.

IDSC offers a range of services and products since 2003 and expanded its services by offering strategic consulting within Higher Education Institutions from 2015.

VISION: To be a sustainable company focusing on client satisfaction through excellent support, innovation and cost effective and viable products.

EXPERIENCE: With an extensive higher education sector experience, IDSC has created a niche market with the development of the HIGHER EDUCATION DATA ANALYZER (HEDA) as well as offering consulting services in the following strategic areas:

  • Institutional research and planning, examples include performance management,
    enrolment monitoring and planning, research management and student retention
  • Facilitating strategic planning at various levels within an institution
  • Providing strategic analyses of management information at different levels within the institution, including research environmental scanning.
  • Benchmarking institutional performance.

The IDSC Business model is focused on a partnership and is based on a 'win win' strategy.

IDSC offers a LICENCE AGREEMENT whereby:

  • In a standard three year partnership agreement, an institution is licensed to use HEDA modules and receive annual support which includes user group and training session invitations, HEDA software upgrades, networking opportunities and general support.
  • Institutions join the HEDA Community which currently consists of twelve higher education institutions. These member institutions meet during the Annual HEDA User Group Conference, where enhancements to the HEDA system are discussed; prioritized and valuable networking takes place. The User Group determines the direction of future HEDA Developments and is the custodian of the HEDA Source Code.

  - Higher education data analyser

HEDA Layers

HEDA, the next generation of HEDA, the HIGHER EDUCATION DATA ANALYZER uses the latest technology in databases and custom applications to provide an integrated, reliable and userfriendly tool to produce easily understood Business Intelligence (BI).

HEDA provides a dedicated service to Higher Education institutions by offering modules specifically designed to meet the changing needs of institutions.

HEDA is a Business Intelligence (BI) tool enabling the user to access reliable, timely, accurate data and apply, process and store information in a secure, reliable and consistent environment.

Click here to access HEDA

Portal Layer

All PowerHEDA Dashboards represent data from a secure, flexible data warehouse. The data in the PowerHEDA Warehouse is imported from various sources, including operational data sources and Excel spreadsheets that can be used in conjunction with the HEMIS and Enrichment Data.

The PowerHEDA Portal Layer is the only compulsory module and consists of five core components:

  • Data Component, which includes:
    • Relational and OLAP databases
    • HEMIS Data (per calendar year and submission)
    • Enrichment data tables (the value add institutional data)
    • Data import procedures
    • Datasets
    • Integrated business logic
  • Security Component – a role-based design
  • Web Portal in the form of a dashboard
  • Administrative functions
  • Online help and training resources

Reporting Layer

The PowerHEDA REPORTING layer focuses on different kinds of reports designed to answer the question: “What happened?”. These reports are provided using the DHET Higher Education Management Information System (HEMIS) data or operational data within the Institution. Reporting is done at strategic and/or operational levels.

  • The Cube Report Viewer module provides multi-dimensional reports to assist with detailed student or staffrelated information and this module enhances the adhoc reporting process at institutions.
  • The HEMIS Management Reporting module is also available to assist institutions with reports at various levels in relation to HEMIS data.
  • The Dashboard module provides a visual display of key performance indicators and metrics on a single interactive screen.

Report view

Key features

The Cube Report Viewer module is a powerful multi-dimensional tool that empowers the user to view, interrogate and report on data quickly without compromising data integrity and accuracy.

Key features of the Cube Report Viewer module include:

  • Build cube solutions
  • A choice of three different viewers
  • Export any view of your data
  • Slice and dice your cube for true multi-dimensional views
  • Drag and drop dimensions and manipulate your cube views

The HEMIS Management Reports module are dynamic, interactive reports, giving the user the power to select exactly the report criteria that is required. All reports are set up with the option to print if required.

Key features of the HEMIS Management Reports module include:

  • Use report templates for rapid report development
  • Select the layout of your static report
  • Create summary and list reports
  • Export your data for further manipulation
  • Parameter-driven reports so that you don’t have to create multiple reports
  • Online link to help and training resources
  • Schedule function to run reports at your convenience

PowerHEDA uses Dashboards to display graphs, data and indicators in a userfriendly manner

Key features of the Dashboards module include:

  • Fully customisable layouts and formatting
  • Integrated data filters at a dataset, report or dashboard level
  • Interactive chart and drillable table widgets to display your data
  • Spark-line graphs at row level to give the visual effect for data comparison
  • Visual display of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) with detail tooltips
  • Link to other PowerHEDA objects including Cube Reports, Management Reports, Documents, Applications and other Dashboards
  • Export a snapshot image of your dashboard or any widget

Analysis Layer

The PowerHEDA ANALYSIS layer focuses on the evaluation of data in different forms to answer the question “Why did it happen?”. Within this component, there are four PowerHEDA Modules.

  • The Application Requirement System (ARS) module evaluates key student information prior to applying to the university in order for the university to select the students qualifying for a particular qualification.
  • The Student Cohort module focuses on the evaluation of activities of a particular student cohort over time and determines the student retention trends at different levels.
  • The Viability modules assess the financial risk of the university/faculty/department/academic programme or academic module.
  • The Resource Allocation Module (RAM) evaluates the different resources of a university and develops scenarios for the fair distribution of resources at different levels within the university.

Analysis View

Key features

Key features of the Application Requirement System module include:

  • Database version of Prospectus with user friendly setup of programme criteria
  • Integrate with NSC Matric results
  • Apply criteria and rank students
  • Parameter driven reports with on the fly adjustment of criteria

Key features of the Student Cohort Analyses module include:

  • Track a predefined cohort of students
  • Measure the cohort reliably and consistently
  • Management and programme overview
  • Student Cohort Analyses uses a proven, established methodology to ensure accuracy
  • User-friendly reports and dashboards

Key features of the Viability module include:

  • Setup of reporting and academic structures
  • Safe and secure environment for financial risk analysis
  • Setup of distribution methodology through data drivers
  • Combine staff, student, finance and research data
  • User-friendly reporting

Key features of the e Resource Allocation Model (RAM) module include:

  • Create Income Projection models
  • Apply long term planning based on targets and norms
  • Analyse academic and support divisions

Analysis Cube

Monitoring Layer

The PowerHEDA MONITORING layer focuses on monitoring annual performance in relation to staff, students and university planning to answer the question “What is happening?”

  • The Annual Performance Plan Module (APPM) monitors and reports on the progress made in relation to the strategic plan of a University, Faculty or Department/School/Division.
  • Interrogator Pro and Audit modules assists a university in monitoring the data quality and management processes in order to rectify incorrect data elements
  • The Student Tracker module assists an institution in monitoring the academic progress of students within academic programmes or modules.
  • The monitoring of activities of academic staff members and the monitoring of time management of academic staff in relation to Teaching and Learning, Research, Community engagement and administrative duties are provided with the Staff Time Sheets and Workload module.

Key features

Key features of the Annual Performance Plan module include:

  • Create multiple plans
  • Target setting for multiple milestones
  • Take snapshots to record a point in time
  • Add multiple activities and costing per resource at any level
  • Assign and evaluate responsibilities at any level
  • Integrate PowerHEDA KPIs into any plan
  • Dynamic reporting on any plan

Key features of the Interrogator Pro module include:

  • Upload HEMIS data to a secure environment
  • Automated error queries on VALPAC
  • User-defined error report distribution setup
  • Email notification of Excel error report to data owners

Key features of the Audit Applications module include:

  • Dynamic setup of audit profiles
  • Secure environment for data handling
  • Auditable change log
  • Upload attachments and add comments
  • Take snapshots to record data at a point in time
  • Make change requests
  • Monitor through audit statuses
  • Detail report of requested changes

Key features of the Student Tracker module include:

  • Identify multiple risk
  • Personalise a custom e-mail template
  • Upload attachments
  • Secure environment for data handling
  • Notification via e-mail or bulk sms file

Key features of the Staff Time Sheets and Workload module include:

  • Link time table, student, staff and research data
  • Use templates for uniform recording
  • Apply institutional guidelines
  • Secure environment for data handling
  • Processes driven by status
  • Capture additional related data if required
  • Create HEMIS Time Sheet Data from Workload
Monitoring View

Prediction Layer

The PowerHEDA PREDICTION layer focuses on forecasting and predicting the future in relation to funding, academic programmes, student enrolments and student retention by answering the question “What might happen?”. There are three PowerHEDA modules and a service that is provided within this component.

  • Predicting the income and student statistics in relation to the offering of new academic qualifications are provided within the Business Plan Generator module
  • The annual subsidy received from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is forecasted using the Funding Allocation Model (FAM).
  • The submission of student enrolment plans to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) is performed using the Student Enrolment Planning module. This module also assists in regular monitoring of the agreed-upon student enrolment targets.
  • Predictive Learner Analytics is a statistical service provided by IDSC to determine the probabilities of students at risk and generate a list of student names with contact details.

Key features

Key features of the e Business Plan Generator module include:

  • Generate new programmes for consideration
  • Parameter driven with actual institutional guidelines
  • Financial Rand-value prediction
  • Apply space norms
  • Calculate income and expenditure
  • One page management overview report
  • Integrate with enrolment planning

Key features of the Funding Allocation Model (FAM) module include:

  • Automatically incorporate Ministerial Statement changes
  • Build and compare scenarios
  • Import HEMIS data
  • Capture research data
  • Calculate block grants
  • Distribute to academic levels

Key features of the Student Enrolment Planning module include:

  • Apply default growth parameters
  • Use historical trends for predictions
  • Override parameters
  • Qualification and offering type level
  • Evaluate new qualifications
  • Incorporate DHET Tables
  • Monitor and evaluate the planned models against actual results

Key features of the Predictive Learner Analytics service include:

  • Identify at-risk programmes
  • Extract student data and populateKNIME model
  • Generate probability output
  • Import probability output in PowerHEDA
  • Detail reporting on student level
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HEDA IndicatorPeer Data Sharing

One of the biggest needs regarding benchmarking in the higher education sector is the availability of reliable data. IDSC is a private South African company that developed the web-based Peer Data Sharing (PDS) application to help address the above. A conscious decision was made to use HEMIS data for this data sharing project which enables an institution to compare itself with a selection of Peers on certain indicators.

IDSC developed this web site and will continue to maintain the PDS web site with the financial support of the University of Johannesburg.

Click here to access PDS



An enhancement of the PDS application were requested by the South African Technology Network (SaTN), which provides a flexible tool for comparing aggregated data of the 23 institutions, for the years 2000 to 2007.

The enhanced PDS was commissioned by the SATN Performance Indicators Project and implemented by IDSC, developers of higher education MIS software.

The application allows a user to cluster institutions into groups for purposes of comparison. Data is then extracted for a particular indicator (or type of data) and the result displayed in a line or bar chart.

Up to seven different groupings can be specified by the user. An initial set of 17 indicators is provided. The data used in the graphs is also accessible in tabular form.

The data extracted by the PDS application is from Hemis, the Department of Education’s Higher Education Management Information System. The final, audited submissions of data from the institutions are used, at an aggregated level, as supplied by the DoE.

The new enhancement has been developed as part of the 2008 SATN Performance Indicators Project, to which Universities of Technology and Comprehensive Universities have contributed.

Research Data

An improvement to the PDS web site occurred during May 2009 with the introduction of research related data and also an additional reporting functionality (Indicator Explorer) with the assistance of North West University. This Research related data includes Research Publications, Research Block Grant Funding, and the Number of Rated Researchers in the Higher Education Sector.

HEMIS data

The HEMIS data is annually provided by the Department of Higher Education (DoHE), based on the following process. Second HEMIS submission data (Year N) will be available at the end of May (Year N+1) and final audited HEMIS submission data (Year N) will be available from August (Year N+1). The August data submission will also include any resubmitted data of previous years. It is important to note that the May submission is provisional and possibly incomplete data. On the 10 June 2014 the latest dataset (2013 Sub 2) was received from the DoHeT.