Kayleigh Customer 07/11/2018  

Real-time behaviour dashboards using Online forms

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Sheringham Woodfields School welcomed the opportunity to use a new data visualisation tool that will enhance the way the senior management team report on key issues across their schools.

But where did the idea stem from?

And has it really made an impact in such a short space of time?

Managing the sheer volume of data from a cluster of 11 schools falls in the hands of School Business Manager, Matthew Smith.

Sheringham Woodfields School (SWS) is the central hub for the 11 SEN schools in Norfolk. Each school has a unique list of forms that all get fed back into pro-Forms®. From behaviour management to accident reporting, SWS heavily rely on the system to collect data from several key areas of school activities.

Manual reporting was inefficient

Although the process of collecting data from the schools was simple and efficient, the team at pro-Forms® recognised the lengthy process Matt would undertake to extract data from pro-Forms® and upload to Microsoft Excel for reporting purposes.

At the end of each month, data from all schools and departments would be collated and sorted into charts on Excel to be shared with senior leadership teams who could already see the benefit of data visualisation albeit via Excel.

Introducing Power BI

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Processing data manually consumes a great deal of time and often leads to transposition mistakes resulting in severe final reporting errors. Our technical team set out to explore how we could improve the movement of data and build a seamless connection between pro-Forms® and a data visualisation tool.

Power BI became the obvious choice to connect with. Part of Office365 and available to organisations of any size, this powerful data visualisation tool provided an obvious solution for Matt and his colleagues.

Power BI enables users to create custom charts, graphs and interactive dashboards from a variety of sources and in this, case real-time form data submitted to pro-Forms® by each of the 11 schools in the Cluster.

Real-time dashboards

We released our new connector to Matt Smith and his team at SWS and he quickly replicated the charts from Excel simply by specifying what data he needed from his forms in pro-Forms®.

Once set-up, for every school form submission the specified data would be automatically fed into the real-time dashboard within their Power BI account.

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Interactive charts and graphs

Using the 'slicing' method on Power BI, senior management at SWS can click on a value to filter the dashboard charts to show the relationship between the selected value and the rest of the data. They can instantly see patterns and links within the data so they can start to uncover and focus on the the real stories such as higher rates of behaviour issues occurring on Thursday over any other day of the week.

The interactive dashboards have been a big hit with staff at SWS and it means they can now view and drill down into all their data on one dashboard rather than switching between several tabs on Excel and start to make changes to their strategies and policies sooner.

Real-time data to hand

All the data they see is up to date and accurate. There's no exporting and uploading every month as it is now instantly fed from pro-Forms®. Senior management can log in to Power BI at any time to see how key areas are performing. Ahead of key meetings staff no longer need to spend time preparing spreadsheets to share with participants as all new data is instantly reflected on the dashboards.

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What's next?

The next steps for Matt and his team is to introduce the staff at SWS to mobile forms - another source of data capture via the schools' iPads.

For staff travelling between schools or working outside the office accurately capturing incident reports is vital. Mobile forms are the perfect solution for situations such as accidents in the playground, school inspections and nagging doubts. It means staff can capture data as incidents occur making analysis much more insightful and detailed.

As a powerhouse of data collection, Sheringham Woodfields School is a true innovator and leader  in the education sector. If your school or organisation is looking for a new way to collect data across multiple sites, get in touch with our team on 0845 094 1615 or sign up for a free 30-day trial.