TAFE NSW looks to cloud to respond to evolving industry needs

Government regulations and a need to prepare business for the future

TAFE NSW is the leading provider of vocational education and training in Australia. Each year, more than 500,000 students enrol in their courses and training to be completed on campus, in a workplace, through a virtual classroom, distance education or a combination of these ways to study.

TAFE NSW previously operated as 11 separate education institutions with a myriad of platforms to manage students and their learning journey.

As they further embarked on their transformation journey in 2020, they looked for a partner to support their Vision and Strategy for Data Services. With little existing Azure footprint, Insight was able to quickly integrate with TAFE NSW to develop an overall plan for how they could design and implement its TAFE Reporting & Insights Platform (TRIP) as the backbone of the business, from regulatory and ministerial reporting to gaining insights to improve services.

TAFE NSW wanted to provide business users and executives with enterprise reporting based on accurate data but were struggling with:

  • Reporting was being produced at many levels without standard processes and across siloed systems
  • Finding it difficult to meet government reporting requirements
  • Inability to leverage data to focus on student outcomes and journeys
  • Many different, legacy technologies that inhibited innovation, agility and key use-cases to drive business value

“In the past, not one report of the legacy data warehouse would have been shared with our executives. Now, we are able to share reports with qualified, trusted data with our executives that help provide insights and influence business decisions,” said Colin Frewen GM Strategy and Enterprise Architecture, TAFE NSW.

Insights delivered include:

  • Designed and built their Azure Foundations (Landing Zone) to Microsoft best-practices and DevOps capability, that commenced in Feb 2020, allowing TAFE NSW to quickly scale online services via Windows Virtual Desktop during COVID lockdown.
  • A data estate assessment which led to the design and build of their TRIP platform, that leverages Insight’s Azure Data Services (ADS) foundation framework (datalake variant with Databricks), in 5 weeks, proving the ability for ingestion and data visualisation
  • Migration of on-prem databases and reporting tools, including components from their financial and enrolment report systems, enabling the shutdown of on-prem capability
  • Power BI services to migrate and refactor existing reports
  • Power apps and Forms for Head Teachers to understand course offering details for strategic planning, reducing months of planning down to six weeks.

Embedded within their Technology team to provide training, enablement and knowledge transfer, whilst TAFE NSW looks to train around 10,000 staff on how to use Power BI, said Andrew Edwards head of data services at TAFE NSW.

“We still have more work to build that out, and there’s a lot of discovery, but we’re able to answer the questions that our leaders in the organisation need to be able to take the organisation to deliver on its mission,” he said.

The Journey Ahead

The TRIP platform is proving to be the single source of truth and TAFE is now looking at a roadmap for the next 18 months to ingest and migrate data from 10 core systems that includes:

  • Student Management and Learning platforms (22 Moodles)
  • 5 CRMs
  • Teachers Program Diary (in-house time recording system)
  • SAP HR data (supporting 17,000+ employees)
  • Asset Management information on facilities, classrooms and AV




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