The heart of the HEAT Service is a secure online database that can be used to record student details and their involvement in widening participation (WP) activities. This data capture underpins the monitoring, tracking, evaluation and evidence of WP activities carried out by our member organisations. Two environments are available: HEAT Demo is used for training and practice (and never contains live data); and HEAT Live is used solely for real data and actual activities.

In addition to the key functions of storing and linking a vast number of fields relating to Students, Institutions and Activities, the HEAT database also integrates many online productivity tools and various value-added functions.

The HEAT database is a shared, central, online repository and reporting tool that has been developed collaboratively with members to provide a web-based data-capture system that tracks student engagement in WP outreach activities delivered by each subscriber organisation. The database helps users to plan and monitor WP events as well as capture individual information for the creation of student participation datasets. The system also allows its members to target individuals and/or institutions, monitor outreach programmes, capture cohort information and produce evaluative questionnaires. By monitoring the complete student life-cycle (often referred to as longitudinal tracking), the HEAT database provides participating organisations with an unsurpassed ability to evaluate and evidence their own WP activities as well as accessing  aggregate data generated from over 80 HEIs, NCOP consortia and charities.

Application Programming Interface (API)

HEAT’s API is available to members on request to improve levels of automation by creating a technical interface between the HEAT database and internal systems of the participating institution.

Evaluation Tool

This tool enables members to create evaluation plans integrated into the database. Aims, targets and methodologies can be recorded and seamlessly evaluated against ‘live’ data held on the HEAT system.

File Store

This integrated repository within the database provides a safe and convenient way of sharing files amongst our members. Additional security allows distribution to be limited to specific sectors, organisations and/or roles. This tool can be used to distribute files from the HEAT Service as well as allowing members to upload their own resources to share.

Event Programme

The Event Programme can be used to invite teachers and students to sign up to an activity, issue electronic invitations, receive online acceptances and capture data.

Postcode Profiler Tool

A feature that can be used by participating institutions or local authorities to profile students by their postcode. Output tables provide a range of indicators for each postcode, including: Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD); POLAR measure of young participation in higher education; Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI); and more.

Registration Tool

Electronic capture of registers (participation details) at the point of delivery of activities allows the automatic uploading of participant registers to the database in addition to offline capabilities.

Student Ambassador Programme

Student Ambassador Programmeis an online system integrated within the HEAT database to facilitate recruitment and management of Student Ambassadors. The system includes a portal through which ambassadors can access work opportunities.

Student Duplicate Clean Tool

A time-saving feature within the database which helps members to identify duplicate student records quickly and easily. By combining high levels of automation with manual final-verification control, this tool greatly eases the burden of the often difficult – yet essential – task of maintaining the integrity of member data.

Student Profiler Tool

This allows members to see whether a student has participated in outreach conducted by other HEAT subscribers (data are restricted to minimal detail).

Survey Tool

This is essentially the HEAT database’s own integrated questionnaire facility, allowing members to design and deliver electronic surveys that can be linked to participant and activity data for evaluation purposes.