Creating Lightcast-Powered PowerBI Dashboards

Published on Jul 4, 2023

Written by Mariana Marques

Located in Glasgow, Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University  is a public university offering a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, as well as graduate apprenticeships and international study opportunities. It hosts around 22,000 students across the globe and has two main campuses in Glasgow and London.

The challenge

Glasgow Caledonian’s Department of Strategy, Planning & Business Intelligence (SPBI) were looking to enhance their evidence-driven approach to portfolio development, particularly in terms of using labour market data to better understand employer demand related to course provision. The ultimate goal was to then promote these insights across the university, so that the University’s academic School’s and professionals service departments could have an efficient and seamless way of accessing it.

Prior to 2023, SPBI had been using various, individual labour market data sources on an ad-hoc basis. However, this approach was not only complex and time-consuming but also resulted in  data that lacked sufficient granularity and relevance to what the university offers. This is where Lightcast came in.

Building Lightcast-powered PowerBI dashboards

To fulfil the first part of the challenge, Glasgow Caledonian  invested in Lightcast's data tool, Analyst. With the wealth of granular insights it gives on jobs, industries, and skills, and its ability to connect this data to courses, SPBI not only used the tool to help provide evidence in support of changes to their  portfolio to better meet the skills needs of employers, but also to enhance marketing campaigns, their prospectus, and online course pages.

To fulfil the second part of the challenge -  enabling easy access and digestion of the data – Glasgow Caledonian, together with Lightcast, came up with the idea of creating shareable PowerBI dashboards powered by Lightcast Job Postings data.

This was the first project of its kind, so the Lightcast team, particularly the Milan-based data team, worked very closely with SPBI to evaluate Glasgow Caledonian’s needs and build out these dashboards. Each dashboard contains ‘live’ 12 month rolling occupation trends, top employers, salary information, job growth and skills linked to jobs. They also have different tabs that enable users to navigate through the tool and see 3-year trends, as well as narrow down the data to a particular region.

Launching our PowerBI dashboards: the beginning of an impactful journey

These dashboards were successfully launched in April 2023 and shared internally with all of Glasgow Caledonian’s academic school’s and professional services departments.. They are now readily available to anyone at the University. SPBI are now focusing their efforts on promoting the multiple uses of the dashboards university-wide. Despite being at the very early stages, these PowerBI dashboards are the foundation of a very meaningful long-term project: to increase awareness of Labour Market Insight (LMI) data and enable departments to leverage its potential.  

Commenting on the success of the project, Russell Walker, Market Insight Manager at GCU, stated: 

“Working with Lightcast has helped us enhance the use of LMI data across the university. The data on these dashboards is really good, the user testing was really positive, people could understand it and it has been used across departments in the short time that it has been available.”

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