How London South Bank University Created a Connected and Configurable Research Experience with Tech

Building one cohesive system to scale their research program with Cayuse

Customer Spotlight: London South Bank University

First established in 1892, London South Bank University (LSBU) is one of London’s largest and oldest public universities. The institution boasts nine specialised schools of study and a clear focus on research excellence. Their mission is to transform lives, communities, businesses, and society through applied education and insight.

To promote this mission, the team at LSBU sought out a solution that would create a centralised hub for research activities, integrate with existing systems, and engage academic and research staff. That journey led them to Cayuse. Let’s take a closer look at their story.

Challenge: Disconnected systems and limited configuration

The team at LSBU faced a common challenge among research organisations: disconnected systems and limited configuration. With research process data housed in different systems, the team struggled to gain meaningful insights in a cohesive and streamlined manner. Instead, they had to gather data from multiple sources to assess and analyse the information. This proved to be not only time-consuming, but also labour intensive.

From a funding point of view, the team relied on a system that did not allow configuration and was not built specifically for funding bids and tenders. This lack of configuration and specificity meant that the team had to make concessions or mould their data to fit the system versus having a seamless integration between the two. 

Both of these workflow inefficiencies pointed to a clear need for an alternative solution.

LSBU Logo Cayuse

“At LSBU, we were looking for an accessible and configurable solution that was able to meet as many of our requirements as possible.  We also wanted a system that was intuitive to minimise user error.”

Yvonne Mavin
Head of Compliance and Systems

Solution & Results: Integrated and scalable research suite technology with Cayuse

The team at LSBU was already familiar and happy with Cayuse after using the solution for post-graduate research, so the decision to expand further into the Cayuse Research Suite made logical sense. Not only would the team be able to build better insights into their data using one, cohesive system, they could also scale their research program with Cayuse, adding more products to their main research hub, as needed. In fact, the team has now implemented four Cayuse products!

This gradual growth with Cayuse, adding products over time, has been a key to LSBU’s success. Not only did it enable the team to expand their research efforts from a technology perspective, it enabled the team to adjust to the technology changes at a more reasonable pace as well. 

The team is now able to transfer data from existing systems to one, centralised platform, which has been a major benefit. Having all research information in one place allows the team to efficiently capture a researcher’s breadth of work and see the volume of academics involved in research.

The team also is enjoying greater flexibility in the system, giving them freedom to pursue new ideas, together, with greater ease and collaboration.

They have increased their research power with the ability to manipulate and share information with users, especially given the visualisation opportunities now available through MSPowerBI.

Implementation and training

The implementation of Cayuse took into account the specifications, variations, and preferences provided by LSBU. Although most software applications come out of the box with some configuration, Cayuse is specifically built to address the unique needs of research administration.

Working with the team at LSBU, the team at Cayuse were able to provide a solution that met the needs of the various stakeholders at the university, including specific functionality for the LSBU research team. 

The team knew they needed to add specific integrations with existing systems to ensure a seamless workflow and aid in the overall transition to a new solution. For example, they successfully integrated the Cayuse Repository with an existing system. This proved to be quite beneficial as the academic staff could continue interacting with the older, known system for their publications and more slowly transition to Cayuse as they became more familiar. After a predetermined transition period, the team at LSBU discontinued the legacy system in favour of Cayuse.

To keep the momentum of adoption across academic and research staff, the team provided regular training events and helpful guides. Not only did this help to empower more tech-savvy team members, it helped to level the playing field for less tech-savvy individuals as well. Everyone has access to the same information and the same solutions, creating a sense of community and engagement across the university.

Overall, feedback from the staff has been positive.

Cayuse has allowed the team to rationalise systems and develop a single, central database in a modular way. The team also made significant savings through additional systems rationalisation. For example, although the team originally purchased the Funder solution as a singular, like-for-like replacement, they soon were able to discontinue two other proprietary systems.

Cayuse has become an extension of the LSBU research team, providing a cloud-based hub for their research activities. As the world continues to evolve and more teams work remotely, the Cayuse Research Suite will offer the flexibility and responsiveness needed in this changing digital world.

“It was easier to use the same system for depositing their outputs, and academics feel more in control of their research-related information”

Steve Grace
Deputy Head of LLR: Library Systems and Content

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