Using Data sets for ‘What if’ scenarios

August 4, 2017

Using SISRA Analytics for exams analysis? Check. Using it for assessments? Check. Using it to see how things might work out? Read on.

The benefits for your SLT, middle managers, and class teachers in using SISRA Analytics are well known. Hopefully they are well trained on using it to investigate and highlight under-performing groups on a regular basis. But I’d like to talk about another use for SISRA Analytics: the ‘what if’ scenarios.

In SISRA EAP, you can create up to five regular data sets in addition to ‘Exams’ and ‘Assessment’. And within ‘Assessment’, you can create as many data sets as you like (publishing up to six in a particular year). So at our schools, we often use one of these spare data sets to try things out, either with grades for all subjects, or for selected subjects. Some possible scenarios include:

  • A member of SLT is interested in how the FFT Benchmarks compare to the targets your students have.
  • The head of maths wants to analyse the results of a recent test to see if the Pupil Premium interventions have worked.
  • A set of ‘aspirational targets’ are suggested by a deputy head and they want to see how the headlines would look before committing to using them.
  • A target review has taken place, and class teachers have made some suggested changes. Before they accept the changes, SLT want to see how things would be affected.
  • A set of nationally recognised assessments are undertaken – SLT want to see how a cohort has performed using CATS predictors, MidYIS assessments etc.
  • It can be done in the KS5 Legacy area of SISRA too, to see how ALPS/Alis/Level 3 transition estimates would stack up in the sixth form.

Y11 Reports Homepage with minimum and aspirational target datasets, and also FFT Estimates

Sometimes these data sets are analysed and compared for a short time, and so you can publish them as ‘Locked’ data sets to avoid confusion for other SISRA users. You can set up a ‘Locked’ authority group in the ‘USERS’ section of SISRA Analytics to give selected users access to these locked reports.

Aspirational targets published with ‘Locked’ status

Remember to review the use of these temporary ‘what if’ data sets regularly, as keeping the vast majority of your data sets available to all users is important for data transparency.

So next time you find yourself creating complicated SIMS marksheets or Excel spreadsheets to figure something out about a set of grades, consider popping them into SISRA Analytics which can do all the heavy lifting for you. SISRA is not just for the regular data cycle, it is there for those one-off occasions too.

Matthew Begg, SIMS and Data Lead Development Manager, Education and Leadership Trust

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