Microsoft’s Power BI technology has already made waves in industries around the globe. Its ability to easily integrate with modern apps and provide palatable, in-depth analytics is extremely valuable for any business. It enables us to truly harness our available data in a way that wasn’t possible before. 

This same fact is true in the education industry. The technology has numerous benefits for school data and, thereby, data managers. Before Power BI, those that handled school data had to undergo a manual process to get any truly valuable data points. Tools like Excel have been extremely useful for analysts, but it’s time consuming and inefficient to rely on manual input for real data insights.  

The powerful analytics technology allows schools to truly understand their school’s performance and make the most out of the large amounts of available data that they work with every day. Your MIS has the potential to really drive decision making and improve confidence in your growth plans. Power BI could be the tool that you need to see the bigger picture across your school 

But how far does the potential of Power BI span for schools? How should you be implementing these tools for truly insightful analytics? 

Timely data and analytics 

While data-backed insights are key, they are only as helpful as they are timely. Making decisions based on information from 6 months ago is less likely to reap the expected rewards, compared to utilising the most recent information.  

Despite this, many schools are left in a position where they are relying on manually accessible information which becomes out of date very quickly. Spreadsheets and paper stores are inefficient to manage, and it takes time before enough data is input to be useful for any kind of analysis 

Power BI quickly and efficiently gathers your data from multiple sources, and creates timely analytics and visualisations. This helps you to make decisions based on the most relevant information, and see the impact of those decisions quickly and easily. Make smarter decisions and build a data-backed strategy with Power BI for schools. 

Get the macro and micro picture 

When breaking down data manually, it can be difficult to really understand the impact of decisions on both a high level and an individual level. Your MIS data is critical to your growth journey, but you need to make sure your growth and performance strategy is having the desired impact across the board.  

Power BI data visualisations provide a clear perspective across all of your data, while also allowing you to drill down into individual factors when required. Schools don’t need to miss a single data point with this powerful analytics and data gathering technology.  

Power BI for schools

Arrange dashboards based on your individual requirements. You can then see how individual factors are affecting others and zoom into further data points. For example, a school can drill down into year groups or classes and see the students behind the data within those classes. If there are changes in behavioural data, Power BI can help you to find factors related to those trends and other areas of the school that might have been impacted. Ultimately, better understanding results in better decision making. 

Make connections 

Power BI technology can take data from multiple sources, depending on the needs of the establishment. Typically,, a data point isn’t valuable on its own. You need wider context and connections to really make the most out of what your data is telling you.  

When working manually across spreadsheets, it can be difficult to effectively make these connections on your own. You need a tool to help you see the bigger picture. Power BI efficiently collects all the available, relevant data within your school's data management systems, and uses clear visualisations to enable you to spot trends across that data.  

Noticed a change in attendance data? Perhaps this aligns with trends in behavioural data? Is there one class that is more heavily impacted than others? You can best assign resources when you know the context behind your analytics.  

Empower leadership teams 

Data managers are highly skilled in their roles and are able to manage large amounts of raw data. However, your senior leadership teams are naturally not as familiar with these kinds of data stores. The visualisations provided by Power BI tools help to make conversations between data managers and leadership much easier. 

Enable school decision-makers to handle data themselves with intuitive Power BI tools. The data is presented in a fair, unbiased way, and they can carry out enquiries themselves when required. They can also rest assured that the data provided is the most up to date within their school. 

Power BI for schools

The more confident your leadership teams are with the data, the more informed they are before taking key decisions. Data is the key to improving overall school performance with targeted decision-making and resource management.  

Central: A powerful reporting solution 

Central is iSAMS’ powerful reporting solution for independent and international schools. We harness Power BI technology to ensure that schools can make the most out of the valuable data within their MIS and associated systems.  

Central provides actionable insights for school leadership across admissions, student data, attendance, behaviour, and more. The inbuilt dashboards and reports are generated with leadership and data managers in mind, and can be customised according to your school’s individual requirements. 

Benefit from a centralised platform designed for extracting the most essential information from your iSAMS modules and generating palatable reports to be shared with key staff members. 

Get a macro and micro view of key data points, and drill down into any individual report to find the factors behind a trend to create bespoke action plans. Ultimately, decisions made based on data are best able to yield results, and you can monitor these results all within Central. 

If you’d like to learn more about seeing the big picture with Central and Power BI for schools, you can watch a full demo below: