The Skills Funding Agency (SFA), an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, had been running the Course Directory Service for many years. The service provides the public with detailed information from around 1,000 learning providers on the education and training courses available across the country.But the service was costly to run. The SFA needed to act fast to improve efficiency and drive down costs.
That’s where we came in… with a brief to radically overhaul the delivery of the Course Directory Service.
How we did it
Firstly, we completely redesigned the solution architecture. We moved servers, removed third party databases, changed platforms, and helped systems talk to each other more effectively. By making these efficiency changes to the solution design, we were able to almost halve the costs of service delivery.
Secondly, to support the Government’s Open Data strategy, we made a major improvement to the service by implementing open data standards. This meant the database can now be consumed by third party organisations who may wish to use this data to support the delivery of other related services.
We didn’t stop there
Our team of Information Advisors continue to help the SFA tackle and maintain data accuracy. The team reviews the quality of the data being uploaded by providers and proactively monitors data uploads using automated dashboard reports.
The deployment of the new and improved Course Directory Service was so successful that even before the first year of service was complete, the SFA entered into an arrangement with the Department for Education (DfE) to contract us to expand the scale of the service.
“We’re going from serving 1,000 universities, further education colleges and training providers to 3,300+ schools and sixth form colleges delivering ‘A’ Level courses. Our solution was designed with scalability in mind and we were able to quickly increase the scope of the service by a factor of four to accommodate the new providers.”
Tim Clark, Tribal
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