Data is said to be the new oil, yet education has lagged behind other industries and services when it comes to making effective use of it. Instead of maximising the power of data through creating and adopting interoperable data ecosystems that share data seamlessly and exploit it effectively, it is typically the case that educational data is fragmented and sits in different systems or institutions that don’t speak to one another. Most national education systems are made up of a complex set of organisations which deliver, manage, oversee, quality assure and provide credentials for higher education, vocational education, adult education, further education and skills development. Lack of interoperability between these bodies and agencies leads to siloed data, which in turn means that records are not easily transferable between institutions or between tools used in the system. The complexities of handling inputs from multiple, disparate systems means it is often the case that student or achievement data is not recorded in the same format, and consequently that data is not compiled into one place.
Data ecosystems are important for:
(1) The mobility of learning.
(2) Life-long learning journeys.
(3) Holding digital credentials and qualification records.
(4) The seamless and effective sharing of data, content and services among systems and applications.