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National Student Survey data as a Tableau Data Extract

For all the UK Higher Education Tableau users out there I thought it might be useful to transform National Student Survey data from Excel files in to Tableau Data Extracts (.tde).

About the Data

The National Student Survey is conducted once a year amongst all final year university students. The results are used in university league tables, meaning university staff are very eager to analyse their results to see where they are doing well and what they could improve.

You can download the NSS data from the HEFCE website in Excel format. Unfortunately the Excel files are not formatted for Tableau. Using Alteryx (who The Information Lab recently partnered with), I was able to not only format the NSS Excel files in to a Tableau friendly format, but I also added in some additional fields which analysts of the NSS data might find useful.

All the existing fields from the Excel files are available in the .tde plus a few extras:

  • Answered 1-5 value: the number of respondents per answer option (1-5)
  • Average Score: the mean score of each question (Q1-28) or each answer option (1-5)

The Data Files

NSS data as a .tde is available from us from 2008 onwards. Click on the links below to begin download.







Combined 2008-2013

In a follow up post I will explain how I used Alteryx to create these .tde files, in the meantime if you have any further questions please get in contact with us or leave a comment below.

Emma Whyte

London, UK

6 thoughts on “National Student Survey data as a Tableau Data Extract

    1. Hi Andre,

      When working with survey data in the past, I have always found it most useful to create a secondary data connection to a table of the questionnaire questions with question number. Then do a blend in Tableau. That way if your questionnaire questions ever change or are re-worded (but the meaning remains consistent) then you just have to update the question table, rather than all your results.

      Hope this helps!


      1. Hi Emma:

        I agree and I have no problem with blending but then set of .TDE files above has to be appended with QuestionsText.TDE with Actual/Current Texts of Questions

  1. Hi Emma,

    This is a very useful .tde that you produced. I only wonder whether answer 1 stands for “definitively agree” or “definitively disagree”?
    What correspond the QH questions? By looking at the survey questionnaire there are only 23 questions. I am thus a bit confused.

    Many thanks in advance

  2. Hi Emma

    Would you kindly upload the 2014 file for NSS? It will be useful to start playing around with NSS for this year. I am from Southampton Solent University.


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