Chief Data Officer

London Permanent
  • The opportunity to drive and manage technology enabled transformational change.
  • Hybrid working practices in place

About Our Client

Founded in 1898 to meet the skills needs of the 2nd industrial revolution, the University of East London is now in Year 5 of its transformational 10-year Vision 2028 strategic plan, spearheaded by our Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Amanda Broderick.

Our goal is to advance industry 5.0 careers-first education and provide a clear path to the jobs and opportunities of the future. We are committed to driving diversity in the 5.0 talent pipeline, working in partnership to promote talent wherever it is found, and creating a sustainable, inclusive, and green future.

But we can't achieve this goal alone. We need forward-thinking, innovative, and curious individuals like you to join our community and help us shape the future. As part of our team, you'll have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people who share your passion for creating positive change. We're an inclusive and welcoming community that is constantly moving forward, never satisfied with the status quo.

If you're ready to join a team that values your unique skills and perspectives and is dedicated to making a difference, we invite you to explore a career with us. We are excited to welcome talented individuals who are committed to advancing their careers while making a positive impact on the world.

Strategic Development & Delivery

The Strategic Development & Delivery team works in partnership with stakeholders across the institution, combining our specialist expertise, sector knowledge, and institutional awareness to support the delivery of our vision to 2028 and beyond. This is a new Directorate for UEL, and comprises four main portfolios;

Insights & Decision Support, Strategy & Performance, Portfolio & Benefits, and Change & Improvement. These four service areas will facilitate effective decision-making, improve our staff and student experience, and deliver lasting positive change.

The Role:

  • To lead, develop and embed the data culture within the University through the leadership of the Insights and Decision Support function within Strategic Development and Delivery.
  • Be responsible for building a culture across the organisation where reliable data provides insight and drives decision-making, whilst ensuring that quality and regulatory requirements remain central to delivery.
  • Lead a programme of work to drive the development and implementation of a data strategy for the University, which exploits the robust data infrastructure in place.

Job Description

Key Activities:

  • Develop, deliver, and refresh a data strategy in alignment with the University's core strategic direction.
  • Be a chief advisor to senior management on all data issues across the portfolio, ensuring data is managed as a strategic asset.
  • Be an advocate for, and actively promote, data-driven, insight-led decision making including acting as a data champion to embed desired behaviours.
  • Lead the development of an empowered data-literate community across the university, ensuring that the data competencies needed across the institution are identified and nurtured.
  • Be the Responsible Officer for statutory and regulatory returns, ensuring completion, delivery, and assurance before sign-off by the Accountable Officer (Vice-Chancellor and President).
  • Lead insights development, ensuring that the right information is utilised to enable effective decision-making.
  • Ensure the university is at the forefront of taking advantage of disruptive and innovative technologies.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Lead the Insight and Decision Support function, setting the strategic direction for the team and ensuring alignment with the wider directorate functions.
  • Work across senior leadership and key stakeholders to understand the operating models for the institution, and to work proactively to ensure that data can be accessed and used strategically to meet those needs.
  • To ensure that the University is prepared to respond to the changing regulatory framework, ensuring all necessary technological, data, and process changes can be made within the necessary timescales.
  • Spearhead the delivery of a data governance operating model and framework across the institution, ensuring the accountability framework is effective and operational.
  • Ensure that the University is working to good industry practice across the field of data and insight.
  • In collaboration with the IT function, identify and sponsor business cases for the technology needed to support effective analytics and insight capability. Ensuring the university can harness emerging technologies and innovate accordingly.
  • Ensure that the University has a clear understanding of the external environment the University is operating in with regards to data and insight - including horizon scanning, competitor analysis, external performance measures (e.g. league tables), and other sector and industry trends and developments.
  • Provide people-focused leadership; creating and setting a vision for the future, which staff understands and with which they engage purposively.
  • Facilitate the development and empowerment of all staff supporting them to excel.
  • Develop a detailed understanding of the University's investment into data and insight, advising on cost-benefit analysis and cost benchmark examples from comparable institutions.

Key Deliverables:

  • Acting as a subject matter expert on appropriate committees, including leading them where appropriate.
  • Ensure that the use of production of statutory and regulatory data is maximised to ensure that the university can meet its strategic goals.
  • To take on specific roles in the governance framework, including the role of data custodian where appropriate.
  • Compliance with the overall institutional information security and compliance framework.
  • Provide analysis of key strategic information to senior leaders in order to support effective and evidence-led decision-making.
  • Provide the data required to inform the institutional planning cycle and the development of key performance indicators to support operational and strategic planning.
  • Develop and maintain and university-wide policy framework for student and staff surveys, and provide coordination, analysis, and publication of their results.
  • Recruit, retain, and develop an effective Insight and Decision Support team.
  • Develop and deliver appropriate structures for management, consultation, decision-making, and communication with staff and partners.
  • Manage the budget for the Insight and Decision Support function.
  • Empower your Senior Team to manage devolved budgets and income and expenditure to promote financial sustainability and drive the growth of income and/or value-for-money requirements in line with agreed KPIs.
  • Ensure that all appropriate University policies, operating procedures, and regulations are implemented.

Key relationships:

  • Other service portfolio leads in the directorate
  • Director of IT
  • Chief Financial Officer & Deputy Vice-Chancellor

The Successful Applicant

Essential Criteria:

  • Successful track record of driving improvements to data governance and insight-led decision-making, leading a high-performing team.
  • Experience working in a senior role in Higher Education or public sector, or a relevant industry.
  • Experience in leadership and decision-making within complex environments.
  • Experience in delivering business intelligence at a strategic level, including an understanding of:

- Delivering an enterprise-level data strategy that unlocks the value of data and informs improved, evidence-led decision-making.

- Data governance frameworks and compliance.

- Technologies, tools, approaches, and methodologies to improve business intelligence

- How to use data and benchmarks to gain competitive advantage.

  • Strategic thinking, with the ability to analyse and facilitate conceptual thinking, innovation, and creativity.
  • Ability to provide data and insights to clearly shape institutional debates and decision-making approaches.
  • The ability to navigate ambiguous and volatile environments while maintaining clear purpose and priorities - able to derive simplicity from complexity.
  • The ability to make sense of incomplete data sources to plot an institutional path forward.
  • Solution-focused with drive and pro-activity to successfully deliver

Desirable Criteria:

  • Evidence of a commitment to continued professional development in a relevant field.
  • Graduate calibre with a degree or equivalent level of experience gained in the work environment

What's on Offer

A competitive package, to be discussed on a one-to-one basis.

Rutesh Shah
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Job summary

CIO & IT Leadership
CIO & IT Leadership Subsector
Public Sector & Not-For-Profit
Contract type
Consultant name
Rutesh Shah
Job reference

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