The Value of eResearch Services: Harmonising Key Performance and Key Value Indicators

Dr Jerry Lai1,2, Dr Christopher McAvaney1, Dr Andrew Goh1,2

1Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Geelong, Australia
2Intersect Australia, Sydney, Australia

The scope of eResearch services has expanded and evolved rather drastically over the past decade. Traditional measures of performance (KPI) which focus on infrastructure usage and financial return-on-investment (ROI), whilst capable in addressing part of what eResearch entail, fall short in capturing other key aspects of eResearch — engage, empower/support researchers to maximise research output (i.e., soft benefits, implicit outcomes). In Deakin eResearch (DUeR), we plan to introduce Key Value Indicators (KVI), to further enhance our ability to portray the value of our services.

The eResearch services at Deakin can be broadly conceptualised into three pillars:

* Infrastructure

* Training

* Research Collaboration and Consultancy

The traditional KPI are quite suitable for showing the value of our Infrastructure services, based on usage and ROI. For Training, on the other hand, key stakeholders at senior executive level have advised that “the feedback and attendance looks good, but we wish also to see how attending these eResearch training would benefit researchers in the long run, and more importantly, the research capability of the university at large”. This seemingly simple request led us to rethink our approach in reporting the value of our eResearch training; and its interdependence with our (DUeR and Intersect Australia) contribution to generating research output and potential of Deakin University.

This presentation outlines the service structure of DUeR; the key challenges we face in value and performance reporting; temporary solutions and proposed long-term solutions.


Dr Jerry Lai is a Senior eResearch Analyst at Deakin University and Intersect Australia. Jerry has a background in psychological science and statistics. He has a passion for data-driven storytelling through which, he helps develop insights into new questions and practices. Led by Dr Christopher McAvaney (Services Manager, eResearch), Jerry works with multiple research teams in Deakin—by providing consultancy, hands-on Support, or through research collaboration—on the following:

– Research Methods and Survey Design

– Data-Analytics and Visualisation

– Statistical Programming

– Promote Statistical Literacy for Non-Statisticians


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1 year on – ARDC in 2020 and beyond!

Mr Ian Duncan1

1ARDC, St Lucia, Australia

The Australian Research Data Commons, or ARDC, is a result of the integration of the ANDS, NeCTAR, and RDS NCRIS projects, with that integration being completed in 2019.  The ARDC engages in activities and partnerships with institutions, communities, infrastructure providers, our NCRIS colleagues, and researchers to provide Australian researchers with an international research advantage through data.

In 2020 we have embarked on a range of programs across data collections, data retention, cloud computing, research platforms, and workforce data skills development and we have a range of upcoming programs building on and expanding these priority areas.

This session will provide an update and review of our activities thus far; our strategy and vision, and the status of current and proposed ARDC programs and we will use this session to describe the underlying aims and targets and provide an overview of the timetables and processes in the upcoming calls and expressions of interest which will be available for the sector across a range of data elements.


Ian Duncan is the Director of Outreach for the ARDC.  Ian has previously held the roles of Director, Infrastructure and Services at ARDC and was the Director of the RDS project, one of the three projects which integrated to become the ARDC.

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    eResearch Australasia provides opportunities for delegates to engage, connect, and share their ideas and exemplars concerning new information centric research capabilities, and how information and communication technologies help researchers to collaborate, collect, manage, share, process, analyse, store, find, understand and re-use information.

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