/ Dan Sears
Setting the scene
How many times in a school are you asked simple data questions that you know should be at the tip of your fingers, but with so much going on during the school day it’s completely escaped your mind.
When leading a through school with 12 year groups I felt quite smug as the Local Authority advisor asked me how many Pupil Premium pupils I had within the school. I was able to respond directly with the figure. She then went on to ask ‘and how does that break down into each year group, also what is the split by gender, not only across the school but by year?’ My pulse started to quicken, I knew I didn’t have the answer and started to wonder how I was going to get this detailed information quickly and easily. Would I need to look at each tutor group list and start tallying on a sticky note? Could I ask Heads of Year for a summary of their year group, adding to their already large burden of work?
Getting the information directly from MIS
Then it dawned on me that my Bromcom Cloud MIS System provided me with the detail I needed directly. I was able to take my iPad and directly in front of the advisor not only reel off the numbers, but be able to show the spread of pupils in graphical form with just one click from the main dashboard screen.
From this moment I realised that as well as being able to produce my own ad-hoc detailed customised reports, Bromcom had the functionality to allow me to see summary information about my school with one click. More importantly I had complete control in the data that was presented to me. Bromcom call them Widgets. With a standard set of 8 Widgets available, users have the option to turn off any you don’t need to see and even decided on the order that they are displayed on the screen. More importantly you are able to customise additional Widgets that display Behaviour, Attendance and Assessment information, truly putting your finger on the pulse within your school. Looking at each of these customisable widgets in turn starting with attendance. You can customise the reporting date periods; be able to select your reporting group and finally which attendance codes you wish to report on and specific colour coding that can be applied. The behaviour widget allows reporting customisation in a similar way as the attendance with you being able to select date and group fields. You can then specify the actual behaviour events that you want to report against. Finally, you can customise the assessment widget against the current assessments you have within the Cloud MIS to give summary results of the assessment data that has been captured. Having this level of customisation allowed me to create an insight dashboard that supported me in monitoring the key issues within my school.
Dynamic, flexible and live data
You are presented with a mix of dynamic graphs to highlighting the key information relating to your school. The flexibility even exists for the graphs to be manipulated from the insight page to show relevant information. Relevant colours are used to highlight positive and negative behaviour events and the ability to hover over bars within a chart and the breakdown numbers are automatically shown.
With a quick refresh of the webpage data is updated in real time. It reminds me of the dashboard our school had for our solar panels. Key information, dynamically displayed, right where it is needed.
Sometimes I think the Insight page goes unnoticed as it’s just a small square at the top of the main dashboard, but for me, as the name says, it helps give amazing insight into the structure, performance and progress in your school and helped me with a sticky situation with an LA advisor.