About BIP

Information Catalogue

A full summary of the data assets BIP produces is available in the Information Catalogue. Links to all our dashboards, reports and resources can be found here, as well as available Callista Discoverer reports.

Data Menu

Not sure what information you need? If your answer can’t be found in the Information Catalogue, BIP’s Data Menu gives the full picture of the data available for us to answer your crucial questions. Use the Data Menu to help define what you need and then contact us with your query.

Business Glossary

The Business Glossary stores agreed-upon definitions of key business terms used across Western. This allows easier communication among staff and students using common terminology, eliminating confusion from separate names and definitions for terms that have different interpretations across units. If you’ve ever wondered what terms like “retention”, “course band” or “EFTSL” really mean, the Business Glossary can help.

Annual Schedule

We provide a range of regular reporting throughout the year. Check the Annual Reporting Schedule to find out what’s coming soon, when sources will be updated or when the data you need will be published.

Data Management

We are responsible for managing and maintaining data assets, developing data and information policies and framing data quality and governance at Western. Some of our key data management projects under development include:

  • Delivering a Single Platform of Truth (SPOT) for Western’s core data, including student life cycle, finance and HR information

  • Developing and maturing data literacy and data processes so all users can find, understand and trust the data they need

  • Creating a Data Community of Practice, data quality standards and metrics, information architecture and master data management frameworks


BIP manages the governance and best practice use of several software tools for data collection and analysis. These include Tableau for data analysis and visualisation, Alteryx for data preparation and Qualtrics for survey data collection. Contact us for help accessing or using these tools.

Frequently Asked Questions

To obtain access to our Tableau dashboards, please contact Nilisha Mathias or Stephen Butcher. Please provide the link to the relevant dashboard.

Student Feedback on Units (SFU) surveys are automatically issued for all units with at least 5 students enrolled every session. Student Feedback on Teaching (SFT) surveys are only issued for teachers whose names are allocated to their classes in the timetable. This means it is important to check at the start of each session that your name is assigned to all the classes you teach in the timetable. If the timetable is incorrect, you can contact timetabling@westernsydney.edu.au to have it updated. If your unit does not appear in the timetable at all, or there are any other problems with your teaching allocation for SFT purposes, please contact the Survey Team at surveys@westernsydney.edu.au as early as possible to arrange your SFTs.

For more information on the SFU and SFT, including tips on how to promote a high response rate, check out the Surveys webpage.

Course Load is unit load aggregated in terms of course of enrolment (irrespective of teaching School), while Taught Load is unit load aggregated based on the teaching School.

Headcount is the number of unique individuals enrolled at WSU across a year of study. EFTSL stands for Equivalent Full-Time Student Load and is a measure of the study load of a student over a year. At WSU, 80 credit points equal one EFTSL. Similarly, ‘enrolments’ counts the number of students enrolled in a course, students enrolled in 2 different courses during the year represents 2 enrolments but 1 for headcount.

The Executive Committee has approved the following 8 measures of retention:

1. 1st Half Year to 2nd Half Year Retention (retained in Institution)

2. 1st Half Year to 2nd Half Year Retention (retained in course)

3. 2nd Half Year X to 1st Half Year X+1 Retention (retained in Institution)

4. 2nd Half Year X to 1st Half Year X+1 Retention (retained in course)

5. Withdraw from Institution prior to Census Date,

6. Withdraw from Course prior to Census Date,

7. Withdraw from Unit prior to Census Date,

8. Retention between successive teaching sessions

In short, these measures look at how many students have remained enrolled in a particular unit, a particular course or at Western overall across various periods.

Census date is the date after which a student’s enrolment is understood to be finalised. After census date, a student will incur a debt for the unit they are enrolled in and will have to pay even if they withdraw. As such, census date is used as the milestone for measuring student enrolment and retention. For example, we might want to compare the number of students enrolled at the start of semester to the number remaining enrolled at census date, to see how many students were lost during this period.

In 2018 and 2019, the Federal Government Department of Education elected to cap the amount of Commonwealth Grant Scheme (CGS) funding payable for Bachelor degree courses at the level it was at in 2017 for each university. Put simply, this means the Government no longer increases its funding for these places each year, even if more students are enrolled.

From 2020 onwards, universities will have the opportunity to increase their CGS funding in line with population growth, if they can meet a range of performance criteria. These criteria include graduate employment outcomes, equity group participation, student attrition and student satisfaction. This is known as the Performance-Based Funding (PBF) scheme.

In planning the University’s budget, BIP presents student load and revenue scenarios to the University Executive, who then determine commencing student enrolment and load targets we hope to reach. To determine whether we are on track for meeting the targets set by Executive, BIP then uses weekly student load records to forecast a full year’s load and revenue for the current year and three years into the future.

Contact Us

To contact the staff of the Office of Business Intelligence and Performance, refer to the Staff Directory.

General enquiries can be directed to:


Contact the Survey Team via email at surveys@westernsydney.edu.au


Office of Business Intelligence and Performance
Building K, Level 2, Room 51, Penrith campus (Kingswood)
Western Sydney University
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751