The scope of this project is to analyse the REF 2021 data requirements to inform further scope to extract and load data from existing systems into long term, accessible storage solutions, with potential to include from the Edinburgh Data Warehouse.

Due to core systems, this Business Analysis phase is looking to establish what data is required, retention periods required for REF2021 and identify appropriate solution(s) whereby required data can be stored during the transition period.

The focus is on HR and finance data held primarily in Oracle and E-Financials, although this may extend as the analysis phase completes but it will also includes contractual information stored in Sharepoint on staff contracts. The latter will reach its retention period for certain staff before the REF2021 submission date and audit period thus a longer-term storage solution is required until REF audit period has passed. For some categories of data a solution is required that will future-proof REF exercises beyond REF2021.

This scope is focused on data needs that relate directly to academic staff; research grants; and other aspects of the submission that are dependent on data derived from staff or meta-data about academic staff or grants in order to identify the data for submission.

Other aspects of data required for REF2021 are not in scope, for example data relating to impact case studies which is not directly related to staff members or research grants.


The scope of this project has been defined as the following:

  • Analysis of data required from E-Fin
  • Analysis of data required from HR
  • Analysis of data required for staff eligibility selection data
  • Analysis of data required for REF auditing data
  • Determine incoming and outgoing feeds to and from e-Fin and HR
  • The HR contracts (digital image files) that are stored in SharePoint correctly map from the existing and new ERP system to the new storage solution - in line with data that is required for the REF2021 submission

Please note that this project has been initiated to cover the analysis of specific REF data only, a further project will be initiated, following completion of this project to implement the agreed solution for the storage of the data.








 Produce Business Requirements Document



          D1.1  Analysis of data required from e-Fin    IS Apps / GASP


 Analysis of data required from HR


 IS Apps / GASP


 Document incoming and outgoing feeds to and from source systems                                   


 IS Apps / GASP

          D1.4  Business Requirements Document    IS Apps / GASP   
 O2  Produce Options Paper outlining solutions for REF2021  MUST  
          D2.1  Define and document "As Is" Processes    IS Apps / GASP
          D2.2  Define and document "To Be" Processes    IS Apps /GASP
          D2.3  Options paper outlining solutions for REF2021 submission    IS Apps /GASP
          D2.4  Agreed solution for storage of data for REF2021 submission    IS Apps / GASP



  • A solution for the storing the data for the REF2021 submission will be approved
  • The current business processes will be documented
  • The future business processes will be documented
  • Definition of data requirements for REF 2021 submission will be defined
  • Any adaptations that are required for CORE systems will be presented to the CORE Systems Programme

Success Criteria

  • Streamline of data from required systems into software for analysis and into Pure for REF submission
  • Current processes will be documented
  • New processes will be defined and documented
  • A system architecture solution that ensures the uninterrupted supply of data required for the REF2021 process (including post-submission audits) is agreed
  • Provisions for the supply of historic data required for the next REF process are agreed


Project Milestones


Milestone Due Date  
End of Planning 01-Mar-2019


Enterprise Architecutre Document 22-Mar-2019


Options Paper Complete 22-Mar-2019


Delivery Complete 08-Apr-2019


Project Closure Complete 24-Apr-2019



Project Info

REF2021 Data Requirements Analysis
Research Information Systems (RIS)
Management Office
Project Manager
Tim Gray
Project Sponsor
Jacqueline McMahon
Current Stage
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Programme Priority
Overall Priority