Why do I need Power BI?

Posted  9th July 2021
Posted by  Mark Blackwood

Why do I need Power BI?

To turn information into knowledge, you need an analytics package.

An analytics package takes your raw data and allows you to aggregate it, present it graphically and monitor your school performance against set targets.

SIMS comes with an application called Discover which goes some way to bridging the gap but it is limited in the scope of what it can do. Power BI is a Microsoft product offering a powerful range of features allowing you to create interactive dashboards and reports. You can bring in data from multiple data sources eg SIMS, Microsoft Excel, finance packages. If the data is accessible either directly, or by exporting it electronically, you can use it in Power BI.

What else can it do?

You can aggregate data across multiple schools, allowing both school and MAT level analysis form a single location. You can also publish your report pages to a secure site and grant access to SLT, governors etc. allowing them 24/7 access to headline data via any web enabled device. Pages can even be made mobile friendly.

How much does it cost?

The base application is called Power BI Desktop and it is absolutely free. It allows you to use all the functionality of Power BI except to publish your report pages. To be able to publish pages to the web, or view published pages, you need a Pro License which depending on your existing Microsoft licensing costs between £2.70 to £7.50 per user per month.

Sounds interesting but what if I do not have time to learn how to use it?

School Business Services has created a set of simple, starter, dashboards and report screens that you can purchase to help you understand your school better.

How do I find out more?

We have created an online demo of what can be done with the kind of SIMS data every school already has.

Click this link or see the interactive demo below:

What services can SBS offer my school or MAT?

We are already offering

    • Training sessions for school staff in the use of Power BI
    • Assisting schools and MATs to develop their own Power BI solutions
    • A Power BI driven tool that brings together staff, student and finance
      data for Integrated Curriculum and Financial Planning
    • A Power BI driven School Demographics dashboard for both individual schools and MATs

We are also developing a range of services that schools can access including:

    • Power BI reports that will bring together demographic, attendance, behaviour, curriculum and assessment data to provide tailored insights for SLT, school managers, governors and other stakeholders
    • Consultancy services to use these insights to measure school performance, suggest intervention strategies and then track and monitor the success of these strategies.
    • We believe that Power BI analytics will be of huge importance to schools and MATs as a tool to help schools and their students get back on track after the impact of the pandemic.

mark Blackwood | Senior MIS Consultant

Mark Blackwood | Senior MIS Consultant

With over 30 years of working in the education sector, Mark has a wealth of experience, particular areas of SIMS expertise include training, consultancy, Nova T6, Attendance, Behaviour, SIMS Reporting, Personnel.

Connect with Mark on LinkedIn

If you would like to discuss how our range of services could be used to benefit your school or MAT, please call 0345 222 1551 | Opt 3 or email MISservicedesk@schoolbusinessservices.co.uk

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