Industry engagement metrics: An introduction to the new Data Insights dashboard from our Head of Product

If 2020 highlighted anything, it was the value of having real-time visual data to make critical decisions in life-changing situations. Applying that lesson to university-industry collaboration, with the introduction of our new Data Insights dashboard, we’re empowering universities with real-time visual performance data on leading-edge technologies seeking industry collaboration and investment.

After successfully beta-testing the Data Insights dashboard with 8 leading universities over a four week period in December, the results overachieved our expectations. Usability and usefulness scores both achieved over 90% success.  End-user feedback has now been incorporated into the final deliverable,  and Data Insights is now ready to be rolled out to our entire Academic user base.

What exactly is the Data Insights dashboard?

Data Insights is a configurable analytics dashboard that provides university Technology Transfer Offices with real-time performance data of technologies hosted on IN-PART’s university-industry matchmaking platform.

IN-PART Blog - Industry Engagement Metrics - Figure 1
Figure 1: A feed from a live university Data Insights dashboard, with industry engagement ranked by technology views by companies, and a heatmap showing the location of where all views originated across the globe.

Interested in learning about IN-PART’s University Dashboard? Request a Demo

Listening to our end-users

In January 2020, IN-PART’s Product and Development team embarked on the beginning of a user-centric Agile development process. Since 2014, IN-PART has established a matchmaking platform that allows universities to showcase technologies seeking collaboration opportunities to R&D decision-makers from companies throughout the globe. Over the years, we’ve received plenty of positive feedback from successful introductions and discovered in detail what our community requires from our platform. 

Previously, companies had requested more exposure of their specific research requirements to our academic networks to find new partnerships opportunities, and from this, IN-PART Discover was our first Agile development project delivered based solely on our end-users requests.

Universities quickly followed suit, asking for descriptive details of which companies were showing interest in their technologies – where were the companies based? How many times had their technologies been viewed? What did industry engagement look like over their whole portfolio?

IN-PART’s university liaison team serviced these requests with biannual Impact Reports and frequent CSV data requests, at which point the Product and Development team saw the opportunity to surface all this information in real-time directly within the existing IN-PART dashboard.

By employing a user-centred design approach alongside our Agile development process, it allowed us to progress in a number of small steps providing opportunities for verification and refinement from our end users along the way. 

Insights Dashboard Concept & Build

Who are the end-users?

Technology Transfer Offices.

Why are we doing this?

To enable real-time visibility of the performance of technologies hosted on IN-PART’s matchmaking platform and to allow users to configure what industry engagement metrics they need to support their roles.

What are we going to build?

In order to ensure our product team builds features that we believe IN-PART’s community actually require, we validate all our development assumptions through the use of Interactive Wireframes. Wireframes allow the end-users to visualise what features the final product will deliver. The visual designs connect the IN-PART platform architecture to its visual design by showing paths between pages, clarifying consistent ways of displaying information on the user interface while demonstrating the intended functionality interactivity, to agree on the project scope and user requirements.

How are we going to deliver it?

Our development cycle consists of 2 weekly development ‘sprints’ where clearly defined user requirements are broken out from the signed off wireframe prototypes. At the end of the 2-week development cycle, the features are reviewed and signed off by the Product team and the stakeholders representing the end-users. Any feature refinements are prioritised and fed into the next development sprint, ensuring the end product is exactly what is required to deliver value to the end-users.

Using this process the Data Insights dashboard was developed and delivered to beta testing with actual universities within 10 weeks from the initial concept.

A quick overview of the customisable modules in the dashboard are featured in the video below.

If you have any feature requests that will benefit your IN-PART experience, speak with your University Liaison Manager.


Insights Dashboard – next steps

IN-PART Blog - Industry Engagement Metrics - Figure 2The technical architecture of Data Insights was developed with continual growth at the forefront of what industry engagement metrics our users will want to see as their technology profiles grow.

Regardless of the departments that our academics communities are operating within, Data Insights is configurable to individual user needs through the use of personalised ‘widgets’ that can be added to surface data that is relevant to each user’s role.

The roll-out of the Insights Dashboard has started, and our universities will receive an online demo of all the features offered within the dashboard from their liaison managers. As part of the roll-out, our Product team have included an online feedback form that will continue to gather all the feedback from initial engagement to requested enhancements.

Phase 2 of development has already started and feature requests are constantly being added to the development roadmap for 2021. Look out for improved ability to share dashboard data and industry engagement metrics with colleagues, unique return visitor widgets, and relevant Industry Calls for Opportunities and Requests for Proposals landing directly into your dashboards.

For more information on up-and-coming developments, or to arrange a live product demo, you can contact our University Liaison Manager (


Written by Chris Hunter. Edited and formatted by Alex Stockham and Ruth Kirk.

Copyrights reserved unless otherwise agreed – IN-PART Publishing Ltd., 2021: ‘Industry engagement metrics: An introduction to Data Insights from our Head of Product’

About IN-PART:

We believe brilliant connections can solve real-world problems. We match research pioneers from academia with decision-makers in industry sectors striving for a greater positive impact.

Our goal is to enable connections from around the world to match academic research with industry on a level playing field. Through our intelligent, matchmaking platform we showcase leading university innovations and connect academics with an international community of decision-makers in industry, creating meaningful dialogue and partnership.


IN-PART, a digital partnering platform for university-industry collaboration.

250+ universities and research institutes around the world currently showcase their research and innovation on IN-PART to find new collaboration partners in industry. R&D teams get free access to the platform (create an account here). There are no hidden costs and we don’t claim downstream success fees.

Discover, a bespoke scouting service for open innovation.

Through Discover, corporate R&D teams can leverage our extended academic network, which reaches multiple teams across 1,200+ universities and research institutes worldwide. In response to a specific research requirement or challenge, Discover enables R&D teams to identify new opportunities for commercialisation or to solicit proposals for new research.

Interested in speaking with our Discover team? Request a demo |  TTO or academic? Sign-up for weekly Discover emails.

IN-PART Blog - Industry Engagement Metrics - Header Image

Image credit: Sergey Zolkin / Unsplash Licence

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