Assistant Business Partner – Data & Insights (EDI)

Durham University

Assistant Business Partner – Data & Insights (EDI) (
Job Number:
Equality & Diversity
Grade 7:  £37,099 – £44,263 per annum
Open-Ended/Permanent  Full Time
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Working Arrangements: Hybrid
Closing Date
: 28-Nov-2023, 6:59:00 PM
Disclosure and Barring Service Requirement: Not Applicable. 

The University

At Durham University we are proud of our people.  A globally outstanding centre of educational excellence, a collegiate community of extraordinary people, a unique and historic setting – Durham is a university like no other. We believe that inspiring our people to do outstanding things at Durham enables Durham people to do outstanding things professionally and personally.  
Across the University we have a huge variety of roles and career opportunities, which together make us a large and successful community, which is a key hub of activity within our region and nationally.  We would be thrilled if you would consider joining our thriving University. Further information about the University can be found here

The Role and Department

Durham University recognises that providing equality of opportunity, valuing diversity and promoting a culture of inclusion are vital to our success. With EDI running throughout the University Strategy and our values, we help to create a working, learning and social environment in which individuals can utilise their skills and talents to the full. 

The EDI Assistant Business Partner (data and insights) has an important part to play in enabling the University to deliver on its purpose and bring its values to life and embedding the EDI strategic framework and facilitating an inclusive culture. The EDI Assistant Business Partner (data and insights) ensures the University has the EDI-related data and insights it needs to deliver against the EDI strategic framework and its aims and objectives.

It is expected that the EDI Assistant Business Partner (data and insights) seeks to upskill colleagues in the effective collection and use of data and insights – as well as seeking to continually grow their own knowledge and understanding.  The EDI Assistant Business Partner (data and insights) will be a self-motivated, independent professional with a committed, proactive, and flexible approach. They will exercise diplomacy and discretion and demonstrate integrity and sensitivity in the fulfilment of their responsibilities.

Further information about the role and the responsibilities can be found below.

Working at Durham 

A competitive salary is only one part of the many fantastic benefits you will receive if you join the University: you will also receive access to the following fantastic benefits: 

•    30 Days annual leave per year in addition to 8 public holidays and 4 customary days per year – a total of 42 days per year.  
•    The University closes between Christmas and New Year
•    We offer a generous pension scheme, As a new member of staff you will be automatically enrolled  into the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).
•    No matter how you travel to work, we have you covered.  We have parking across campus, a cycle to work scheme which helps you to buy a bike and discount with local bus and train companies.
•    There is a genuine commitment to developing our colleagues professionally and personally.  There is a comprehensive range of development courses, apprenticeships and access to qualifications and routes to develop your career in the University.  All staff have dedicated annual time to concentrate on their personal development opportunities. 
•    Lots of support for health and wellbeing including discounted membership for our state of the art sport and gym facilities and access to a 24-7 Employee Assistance Programme.
•    On site nursery is available and access to holiday camps for children aged 5-16 throughout the year.
•    Family friendly policies, including maternity and adoption leave, which are among the most generous in the higher education sector (and likely above and beyond many employers).
•    The opportunity to take part in staff volunteering activities to make a difference in the local community
•    Discounts are available via our benefits portal including; money off at supermarkets, high street retailers, IT products such as Apple, the cinema and days out at various attractions. 
•    A salary sacrifice scheme is also available to help you take advantage of tax savings on benefits. 
•    If you are moving to Durham, we can help with removal costs and we have a dedicated team who can help you with the practicalities such as house hunting and schools.  If you need a visa, we cover most visa costs and offer an interest free loan scheme to pay for dependant visas.

Durham University is committed to equality,  diversity and inclusion 

Our collective aim is to create an open and inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and we believe our staff should reflect the diversity of the global community in which we work.  As a University equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are a key part of the University’s Strategy and a central part of everything we do.  We also live by our values and our Staff Code of Conduct.  At Durham we actively work towards providing an environment where our staff and students can study, work and live in a community which is supportive and inclusive. It’s important to us that all of our colleagues are aligned to both our values and commitment to EDI.

We welcome and encourage applications from members of groups who are under-represented in our work force including people with disabilities, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.  If you have taken time out of your career, and you feel it relevant, let us know about it in your application.  If you are a candidate with a disability, we are committed to ensuring fair treatment throughout the recruitment process. We will make adjustments to support the interview process wherever it is reasonable to do so and, where successful, reasonable adjustments will be made to support people within their role.

Role Requirements

·        Act as a catalyst for change, enabling an inclusive working environment where fairness and equity, respect, equality and diversity are actively, and positively, considered and are apparent in everyday behaviours.

·        Utilise skills and experience as a professional practitioner to support and coordinate the ongoing embedding of the EDI strategic framework, as well as the associated institutional strategies (including Education, Research, Global, WSE, Civic & Regional Partnership and People) ensuring the University delivers on its purpose and the aims and objectives of the EDI strategic framework, maximising positive impact for staff and students.

·        Gather, interpret and analyse complex data and information sources (and coach others to do likewise), including conducting surveys, collating, analysing and presenting relevant workforce and student profile data, so as to make evidence-based recommendations for necessary or desirable changes to enable the success of the EDI strategic framework, its vision, aims and objectives and the wider activity of the EDI Team (including chartermarks and accreditations).

·        Ensure the University has the EDI-related data and insights it needs to deliver against the EDI strategic framework and its aims and objectives.

·        Support the implementation and administration of mechanisms (including systems and processes, such as Report & Support) to gather insights about EDI-related risks, issues and opportunities, and report on these data.

·       Maintain an awareness of current equality issues, interventions and approaches in the sector; gathering and analysing national data to provide benchmarking statistics in support of EDI-related initiatives.

·       Promote EDI-related projects internally and externally (to include the use of a wide range of media and channels) and provide data and insights to inform the production of promotional material.

·       Contribute to operational leadership teams and decision-making to shape the nature and level of support services.

·       Advise on and support ongoing work towards equality chartermarks and accreditations both at institutional and local level including advising on associated action plans.

·       Analyse and report on EDI data and make recommendations for improvement as appropriate.

·       Provide proactive and comprehensive EDI input and support to Heads of Service, School and/or Department to achieve strategic and operational priorities.

Planning and Organisation

·        Implement improvements to the design and development of service processes, techniques and deliverables for one or more service strands or project streams.

·        Contribute to the development of operational service activities to ensure excellence in the stakeholder experience.

·        Identify and recommend activities to meet learning objectives and outcomes in line with the University’s strategic direction.

·        Contribute to or deliver training, teaching and/or development delivery for stakeholders.

·        Maintain an awareness of current policy for University business goals such as widening participation and access, and provision of advice using specialist knowledge.

·        Contribute to and lead business meetings, working groups and sub-committees at departmental and operational service levels.

·        Responsible for managing small budgets for consumables and some capital items, keeping records and processing invoices.

·       Contribute to policy review and development, liaising and consulting with key stakeholders to ensure high levels of engagement and understanding.

·       Contribute to the review and improvement of EDI-related data, processes, systems and procedures.

·       Identify and escalate EDI-related risks and advise stakeholders regarding regulatory and legal compliance (including the Equality Act 2010).

·       Provide training and/or instruction to stakeholders on key EDI policies and projects.

·       Add value through awareness of the external environment and maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of EDI developments within and beyond the HE sector including nationally published reports, and disseminating best practice.


·        Engage effectively with people who hold different beliefs and views by safeguarding freedom of speech, creating a safe environment of respectful debate and enhancing a sense of belonging and community in our staff and students.

·        Work with colleagues across the University to ensure that accurate, sufficient, relevant data is gathered, shared and utilised to inform and measure the impact of EDI-related activity, identifying any gaps or inaccuracies and addressing, or escalating, those.

·        Facilitate and support relevant networks and groups, establishing excellent two-way communication and enabling the effectiveness of such groups and ensuring their alignment to, and active support of, the EDI agenda, including the EDI strategic framework and its aims and objectives.

·        Internal and external relationship development and partnership working, networking and participation to engage and influence future services and enhance the University’s reputation.

·       Ensure a high-quality and timely service to all stakeholders, including prospective, existing and past students and staff.

·       Enable the capability and confidence of stakeholders to increase by providing professional guidance, and signposting relevant resources, in relation to the data-related aspects of key EDI-related initiatives, activities and processes, including but not limited to Equality Impact Assessments.

·       Identify and escalate gaps in stakeholder knowledge and expertise and collaborate in the creation of relevant interventions to address those gaps.

·       Coordinate and provide business support to key University EDI committees and working groups.

·       Contribute to and enhance active, inclusive and supportive communities of stakeholders.

·       Engage and network with both internal and external stakeholders to facilitate knowledge exchange and impact through local, national and international communities.

·       Collaborate with colleagues and students to raise awareness and visibility of, and celebrate, our purpose, values and approach to EDI. 

What you need to demonstrate when you apply/Person Specification  
When you apply it is important that you let us know what skills/experience you have from a similar role and/or what skills/experience you have which would make you right for this role.  Further information about the role and responsibilities is at the end of this job description.  Where a criteria has an asterisk* next to it, it may be given additional weighting when your application is considered.    
Your application should cover the following criteria:  

Essential Criteria


1.    Educated to degree level (or equivalent experience).

2.    Professional practitioner with knowledge and expertise in the delivery and development of services, events, and activities within the organisation.

3.    Previous experience of Athena SWAN or Race Equality Charter or other related EDI initiatives.

4.    Demonstrable experience of having gathered, interpreted and analysed large and complex data and information sources, including conducting surveys, and making evidence-based recommendations to inform decision-making and deliver and enhance EDI-related activity.

5.    Experience of using multiple datasets, with sources such as HEIDI data and PowerBI or their equivalent to produce high quality infographics and narratives.

6.    Experience of providing specialist advice and guidance to a range of customers and colleagues, including more senior colleagues.

7.    Experience of participating in internal or external networks to share and discuss good practice, develop strong and productive working relationships and positively influence the University’s reputation.

8.    Strong personal presence and credibility with demonstrable influencing skills.



9.    Excellent spoken and written communication skills including the ability to develop effective working relationships, both internally and externally.

10. Strong digital competence across a range digital devices and apps including digital communication tools, Microsoft 365 applications, business systems.

11. Knowledge and experience of ensuring compliance with regulatory and organisational policy and guidelines.

12. Ability to solve problems and decide on and plan appropriate solutions. 

13. Understanding of equality legislation and its application within a public/HEI sector environment.

14. High level of data literacy.


Desirable Criteria

15. Committed to continuing professional development to maintain professional recognition.

16. A relevant postgraduate or professional qualification.

17. Experience of implementing policies and procedures and supporting change and service improvements. 

18. Experience of working within the Higher Education sector.

19. Experience of design and delivery of surveys using appropriate software.

20. Experience of managing or supervising individuals or project teams.

21. Experience of using web content management systems and databases.

How to Apply   

To progress to the assessment stage, candidates must evidence each of the essential criteria required for the role in the person specification above. It will be at the discretion of the recruiting panel as to whether they will also consider any desirable criteria, but we would urge candidates to provide evidence for all criteria.  Please don’t forget to check if there is any weighted criteria (see above).

While some criteria will be considered at the shortlisting stage, other criteria may be considered later in the assessment process, such as questions at interview.   
Submitting your application 

We prefer to receive applications online.   We will update you about your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system. Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to make sure you have not missed any of our updates.
What you need to submit   

•    A CV.
•    A supporting statement or covering letter which outlines how you meet all of the criteria within the Person Specification.    

Contact details   
For a chat about the role or any further information please contact [email protected]

Typical Role Requirements


Service Delivery/Development

·       Show a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and the University’s values.

·       Review and look for ways to improve systems and procedures that are relevant to your area of work in line with the University’s frameworks and regulations.

·       Provide specialist advice and guidance relating to your professional area of expertise, in line with the University’s policies, regulations and values.

·       Manage the delivery of EDI-related projects across the University to a high standard.

·       Provide the best possible service by continually reviewing what is required from all stakeholders  and contribute to ideas and service improvements.

·       Provide specialist knowledge and support when interpreting and analysing complex data and information sources.

·       Look for ways to improve processes, techniques and outputs/results across all areas of your work.

·       Identify any learning needs that should be met by the service and design activities and arrange any training.

Planning and Organisation

·       Contribute to operational leadership teams to influence the type and level of services that are provided by the team.

·       Contribute to progressing the strategic and operational priorities of the team.

·       Seek feedback from staff, students and other key stakeholders so that the service is being adapted to meet customer expectations and to plan future requirements.

·       Analyse data on the level of service being provided to recommend areas for future improvement.

·       Meet the development needs of your stakeholders, providing training when required.

·       Manage budgets and expenditure including buying (and returning) goods and services.


·       Provide advice and share guidance with your stakeholders to ensure that the University’s policies, procedures and regulations are complied with.

·       Use your operational expertise to lead and participate in business meetings, working groups and sub-committees.

·       Coordinate and organise committees and other business meetings and deal with any related complaints.

·       Update policies and procedures in response to any internal or external changes.

·       Use your expertise to provide training or guidance to other stakeholders.

·       Create positive working relationships, including internal and external networks, using your networks to increase your knowledge and skills and swap information with peers.

·       Any other reasonable duties.


Please note that in submitting your application Durham University will be processing your data. We would ask you to consider the relevant University Privacy Statement Privacy Notices – Durham University  which provides information on the collation, storing and use of data.   

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas. 

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