Licensing of data

Licensing considerations regarding activity data need to take account of the motivations of the institution generating the data as well as general legal and sector principles
Motivations for generating activity data are discussed in the introduction. Significantly, when considering licensing for wider use, some institutions will be focused on benefits to individual students, including retention, success and progression; such data may therefore be traceable to a recognisable individual and not suitable for wider use and re-use unless anonymised.
Much activity data will however be anonymised in a manner that opens the options of wider use through licensed release within and beyond the institution. The following considerations apply to such data
  • Are there any benefits from releasing activity data? - The work of this programme suggests there may be as the data may tell more significant stories when aggregated within and / or beyond the institution
  • Are there legal data protection / privacy issues? - Not if it is anonymised (see Anonymisation guide)
  • Will the institution be undermining its competitive advantage or its reputation? - That’s a business case decision
  • Will members of staff feel or actually be compromised? - Even if the data is anonymised in terms of staff identification, that may still be the case as such as course codes point to faculties and individuals; albeit sensitive, this is a business case issue relating to corporate mission and performance.
  • What will students say? - They probably expect the institution to be leveraging this data to their advantage; they should require the institution to adhere to the law and its own policies in terms of privacy; they might request access to their own data for all sorts of reasons, such as using it in other services.
For further information see: