Checking and verifying your data toolkit

Verifying your data is simply signing off, as correct, the data you have submitted to the department. You cannot verify your data unless you have checked it for any errors or inconsistencies. This toolkit provides you with information about how you verify and check the data you have reported to the higher education information management system (HEIMS).

Verifying your data is a legislative requirement under the Opens in a new window: Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA). You must verify or confirm the accuracy of your data within the required timeframes each year.

We recommend that you check your data after each submission and revise any errors as soon as you can. This will reduce your workload during verification.

Verifying your data

Data Verification

There are four simple steps in the Data Verification tab of Opens in a new window: HEIMS Online to verify your data:

Link to text description

What data is verified?

You verify data using a number of reports in the same format as the Data View reports on HEIMS Online. While the verification reports are only available during the designated verification periods, the data view reports are available all year round.

While a comprehensive set of validations are undertaken to support the reporting of quality data, the validation process cannot identify every possible data integrity issue in your submissions. The verification process gives you a final opportunity to ensure that valid and consistent information has been reported for your organisation.

The higher education and VET data checking guides explain the common data issues the department identifies when it analyses your data. Check these guides out as a priority. If you identify any of the issues in your data they must be corrected before you sign off your reports.

Verifying your data ensures:

  • debts reported for your students accurately reflect the amount of the assistance they have received and how much they can expect to repay through taxation
  • payments based on your estimates are accurately reconciled against the data you have reported
  • data included in the department's publications for your organisation are correct.

When is data verified?

You are required to verify your reported data twice a year. If you are a higher education provider required to report staff submissions, you will also need to verify your staff data once a year.

Table 1 below provides a summary of the start and sign off dates for each verification period. The reports you need to verify are available in HEIMS Online during this time. Once verification has commenced, you have one month to verify your reports (i.e. sign off on the accuracy of your data).

Table 1 Higher Education providers timeframes for Data Verification

Verification Verification starts Deadline for sign off
First half year data 15 September 15 October
Full year data 15 April 15 May
Student Unit of study and Course completions data As soon as submitted after 15 April 15 May
Staff data – Table A and B Higher education providers 15 July 15 August

Table 2 VET FEE‑HELP providers timeframes for Data Verification

Verification Verification starts Deadline for sign off
First half year data 1 September 30 September
First half year Student Unit of study and Course completions data 1 September 30 September
2016 full year data 13 January 2017 1 February 2017
2016 full year Student Unit of study and Course completions data 13 January 2017 1 February 2017

Your first half year reports relate to the period 1 January to 30 June. These reports include information on:

  • all units of study reported with a census date between 1 January and 30 June
  • HELP loans with a debt incurral date in this period
  • Commonwealth scholarships allocated in this period

Full year data includes all units of study reported with a census date between 1 January and 31 December. It also includes HELP loans with a debt incurral date in this period and Commonwealth scholarships allocated in this period.

The Key dates and reporting deadlines page for each collection provides details of all deadlines for each reporting year.

How is data verified?

You will need to verify your data in all the reports available to you under the verification tab in HEIMS Online. These reports are in the same format as the HEIMS Online Data View reports.

Verification is an automated process in HEIMS Online. You will need access to HEIMS Online to review your reports. You will also need to know how to:

  • "start verification" and generate your reports
  • "refresh reports" if you have revised your data
  • "sign off" on your reports after you have checked your data and detected no errors

The HEIMS Online Verification user guide provides step by step instructions on how to verify your data.

It is important to be aware that the sign off process is final. Once you have signed off your reports your verified data is locked and no further changes can be made to this information.

Your data can still be revised in HEIMS after you have signed off your reports. However data revised after sign off will not appear in your verified reports and will not be reflected in the department's publications for that year. These revisions will only be available in the HEIMS Data View "live" reports.

If you detect errors that need to be fixed in your data during verification the Revising your data toolkit will provide you with information on how to revise all submissions.

Checking your data

Why check your data?

Simply put, if you have not checked your data, you cannot verify it. The validations processes in HEPCAT and HEIMS can only confirm that you have used correct and consistent coding, but it is up to you to check that the data is actually correct.

You can check your data at any time. However, it is recommended that you check your data the day after you have received notification that your submission is accepted in HEIMS. This will give you time to revise your data if you find errors.

You can check your data at any time. However, it is recommended that you check your data the day after you have received notification that your submission is accepted in HEIMS. This will give you time to revise your data if you find errors.

What data do you check?

So where do you start and what do you check? The HEIMS Quality Assurance Plan and HEIMS data checking guides provide information about what data you are checking and common issues that can occur. You can use the guides to check you data on an ongoing basis and during verification.


HEIMS Online data view, verification & general reports


How to check your data

Reports available on Opens in a new window: HEIMS Online allow higher education and VET providers to review data that have been reported to HEIMS. This section provides an overview of the types of reports available and access to user guides.

Data View

The HEIMS Online Data View reports are a good starting point when checking your data. The reports compare current data ("live data" as of the day before) to data from the previous year and highlights variations that you may need to investigate.

For information about how to use the HEIMS Online Data View please read the user guide below.

Submission reports

It is also important to check for any errors with a warning message using the HEIMS Online submission reports. Any errors can affect the quality of your data. For further information please refer to the HEIMS Online Submission Reports user guide.

Related resources

What's next?

Found some errors after checking your data?

The Revising your data toolkit provides the information you need. After the data has been revised, we suggest you check your revised data to ensure that they are now accurate and of high quality.

For more information about the verification process using HEIMS Online view our webinar presentations.

Training

Training is offered throughout the year and you may register on our Training page and via our eNews. Our training page also hosts training videos and recorded webinars on many key topics, which may be viewed at any time. We also offer webinar or face to face training tailored for your team or your organisation.

We recommend that you review our training page and mark the dates of webinars that are relevant to you on your planning calendar.

Contact us

If you need advice about getting started like planning your reporting calendar and training or any questions on reporting data or using HEPCAT, HEIMS Online or HEIMS Administration systems please contact us.