For many of us change is not always welcome or wanted, but is often necessary to grow and progress. This can relate to a number of different areas in our lives, such as living arrangements, food intake and daily habits. Using a new MIS is no different, it takes time to adjust, you don’t know where everything is straight away and it can feel uncomfortable. That’s why I am writing this blog to give you 5 top tips that will help you succeed using Bromcom.
Understanding Roles & Permissions.
I was fortunate enough to attend the 2023 BETT Show in March earlier this year, where I met some wonderful people and had conversations about Bromcom. Below is exactly how I explained the core foundation of Bromcom to those people.
- Each staff member requires a user account to log in to Bromcom.
- Each user account requires at least one role to navigate the system.
- Each role is comprised of permissions which control what the roles allow you to see and do. So Permissions>Roles>User Account.
I then proceeded to demonstrate how access to specific features and even buttons can be removed or provided using the above principles. Finding which specific permissions control which features can take some time but that’s where your MIS leads and colleagues responsible for configuring Bromcom come in. An important caveat to remember is that when new permissions are given to a role, any staff member with that role will also gain access.
Next is to understand the logic of the design and where you will find certain features. For this I like to visualise a three-tier object like a totem poll, with Modules (top), Reports (middle) and Config (bottom) on three different levels.
- First you have Modules, where you will find most of the ‘day to day’ features and pages for most areas, such as Manage Attendance or Workforce Census.
- Next you have Reports, which is where you are able to select a Report for all manor of data within the system, such as Communication Logs, Catering Returns and Attendance Certificates.
- Lastly you have Config, which is where you find the configuration settings and options that shape the system, such as Detention Types, Comment Banks and Medical Conditions.
After no time at all, you will find yourself using certain areas of the system a lot and should you need to make some administrative changes or add drop-down menu options, you know a trip to Config is on the cards.
This section is vitally important, particularly where safeguarding and communication are concerned.
On a student’s record, they will have one or more family members listed as contacts, and each contact is assigned a priority from 1 to 10 (1 being most important). You can have multiple contacts of the same priority should you wish, but normally parents are 1/2 then other family members fall lower down the pecking order.
Where this becomes important is both in housekeeping and communication. If you plan to send an email to all priority 1 contacts, you must consider that some students may have multiple priority 1 contacts, so it is important to apply consistent/diligent data practices while adapting to each student’s unique family arrangements. This means ensuring that new staff understand the contact priority hierarchy when it comes to sending home reports or other communication.
Cache Is King
During my time on helpdesk, I would say 20% of all the queries I dealt with were down to caching issues. Similar to cookies, cache is where our browsers pick up on pages that we frequently visit and try to load them quicker to save us time. The downside to this is that it can lead to pages not correctly displaying or loading fully.
Thankfully, there is a simple remedy. Pressing CTRL & F5 on your keyboard (while in Bromcom) refreshes the cache manually, which ensures that data is loading fully and correctly. This also works for the rare instances where you update or add information, but it does not display straight away. The moral of the story is that a cache refresh will ensure pages display correctly, is a useful self-remedy tool and can sometimes prevent the need to contact Bromcom helpdesk.
It’s a Date
My final tip for Bromcom beginners is around active dates. There are many areas within Bromcom that display data based on an active date, such as the students list page. As standard, these pages will always display for the current calendar date, but they can be adjusted if needed. You can quite easily roll the active dates backwards or forwards to look at past or future data.
The same applies when running reports. Most reports will have an active date filter on the left, which can apply to students, group or various other types of data within the system. If you are not seeing everything that you expect, double check that the active date filter is in use and correct. Alternatively, use it to your advantage and report on past students or future groups if needed!
For in depth guidance and documentation on all aspects of Bromcom, visit our Documentation Centre.