Knowledge Sharing

Embracing and overcoming AI implementation in the UK Higher Education setting

Academics from Sheffield Business School continue the Dynamic Conversation with a presentation on how to navigate barriers to AI implementation in higher education.

17th May 2024
Research & Analysis REF

REF Impact Dashboard

10th July 2023

We are delighted to publish our REF Impact Dashboard – an interactive data visualisation of the REF 2021 case studies submitted by UK business schools.

The aim of our REF Impact Dashboard is to provide an overview of the breadth of the impact that has been achieved by UK business schools as catalogued by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, to which 504 impact case studies were submitted.

In addition to ‘Impact type’, which was a dimension provided by the REF database, impact cases submitted to REF 2021 were categorised by our research team along with the dimensions of reach of impact, impact theme, and target stakeholders.

Alongside this, we included contextual information on the submitting institutions, including institution’s region, mission group, and relative size of the institution (based on number of impact cases submitted by the institution, which is in turn determined by REF requirements based on the number of research staff at the institution).

It is important to stress that of all the dimensions used in building the dashboard, the only one provided by the REF database is that of Impact type (Societal, Economic, Environmental, etc.), with the remainder determined by the Chartered ABS research team. The purposes of including the additional dimensions are as follows:

  • The impact theme dimension is intended to give users an idea of the type of impact achieved in the case study at a more granular level than that captured by the REF’s own ‘impact type’ dimension. Examples of some of the categories in this dimension include enhancing business practice, informing government policy, and capacity building.

  • Target stakeholders were identified from each case study, in order to provide an overview of the segments of society which were targeted for impact by UK business schools’ research. Examples of the categories in this dimension include government policy, public services, and SMEs.

  • The ‘reach of impact’ dimension aims to identify the geographic boundaries of the impact case study, and categorises submissions into either UK regional, UK-wide, UK and international, international only, and global impact. It is important to note that the downloadable REF database provides tags for many (but not all) of the case studies relating to country and UK regions. In some cases this may differ from our own categorisation.

The dashboard is interactive; users can click on a category to treat it as a filter for the other dimensions in the dashboard in order to focus in on case studies of interest. It is important to keep in mind that the dashboard is intended to give users an impression of the breadth of impact realised by UK business schools; the depth of this impact will be found in each individual case study and cannot be easily communicated through a dashboard due to the richness and complexity of the impact achieved by the 504 impact cases submitted to the REF under the Business and Management unit of assessment.

To download the dashboard please visit the Tableau page here