Waterstons event
Back to events

Data-Driven Decision Making in Unprecedented Times

Data-supported decision making is hard at the best of times but it seems that when times are 'unprecedented' we can all be much more agile. As we emerge from lockdown, how can Higher Education maintain this unprecedented speed and accuracy?

Thursday 16 July

Universities are an eclectic mix of cutting-edge research, world changing-innovation and centuries old tradition. Ultra-modern, glass-plated campuses can mask communities that are slow to embrace change. “We’ve always done it like that” and “we tried that in the last transformation programme and it didn’t work” echoes down corridors while world class scientists recreate the Big Bang in the building next door and a group of students build the new Facebook in the start-up incubator downstairs.

Responding to the Coronavirus pandemic has forced institutions to shift gear, decisions suddenly need to be made with a speed and agility that we’ve not known before. Classes are moving online, buildings are closed, even the most traditional of universities are trialling new ways of interacting with students. And all this is becoming the new norm remarkably quickly.

It is becoming very clear that when we must change, we can do it as quickly and effectively as the leanest of those start-ups downstairs.

But what does this mean for the future?

In this webinar we will pause, just for a moment, to take stock and to think about what we can learn from this new world. How can we embrace and take advantage of this rate of change? Can we embed this agile mindset many of us have been pushed into adopting? And in the past couple of months, how have we made such important decisions so quickly despite such overwhelming uncertainty?

We all know that high quality decision making on short timescales requires empowerment of staff, appropriate data to assist us and a new set of skills. But what does that really mean?

Join us to discuss

  • What actually is appropriate data and measurement?
  • Is this the end of management by committee?
  • How can you ensure you have the right skills to thrive in this fast-changing environment?


Alex Leigh has been passionate about putting data to work for over twenty years. He has worked with over 50 UK universities and most of the major sector bodies including HESA and UCAS. Alex has developed a number of successful data management and data governance frameworks which put culture at the heart of managing data as an asset.

Helen Fawcett is Head of Business Consulting and leads the HE practice at Waterstons. She works with Universities to help them deliver organisational change. Prior to joining Waterstons she worked in Strategic Planning at Durham University.

Alex Waterston is the Head of Data and Analytics at Waterstons. He leads a team of data experts covering collection, storage, analysis and governance of data focused on HE, retail, manufacturing and transport.

Waterstons is a values-driven global business and IT consultancy. Waterstons operates in a devolved way with delegated and decentralised decision making across all its teams.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. For further information about how we use cookies and how to change your settings, please read our Cookie Notice

I'm fine with this