Power BI Consultancy for Schools - St Francis and St Clare

Sheaf Digital has developed a series of Power BI reports for the St Francis & St Clare Catholic Multi Academy Company (SFSCMAC) in Wolverhampton.

All 12 academies use the Arbor school management information system and the Power BI reports use data from Arbor’s Snowflake data warehouse. The way the data is organised in the data warehouse simplified the development of reports that now give the Trust a joined-up view of assessments, attendance and student demographics across all 12 academies.

The reports are developed with Power BI Desktop and then uploaded into the online Power BI Service. They can then be shared with the central team and school staff. The data is refreshed at several points throughout the day, meaning staff see up to date information.

One of the reports we’ve developed is a multi-page assessment report. This report includes data from both primary and secondary schools, mostly organised by key stage. SFSCMAC staff can now use this interactive report to view and explore data that includes:

  1. EYFS
  2. KS1 - Phonics
  3. KS1 & KS2 Internal assessments
  4. Y6 Reading, Writing & Maths - DfE Assessments
  5. KS4 - Attainment 8 & Progress 8
  6. KS5 Exam data

A lot of work goes into writing measures that can be used to display information in tables, charts, matrices and other interactive visuals.

For example, there’s data in the Arbor data warehouse about individual student performance in DfE assessments at the end of Key Stage 2. It’s useful to see the % of students reaching the expected combined standard in reading, writing and maths and then be able to filter on the teaching group, school, school year etc. The measure to do that - written in DAX - looks like this:

sample DAX measure for Arbor

Sheaf Digital’s work for the St Francis & St Clare Catholic MAC is a good example of how we leverage both our education and software/data analysis experience when we develop Power BI reports for schools. We understand the kind of data that stakeholders want to see, we can respond quickly to new requests and we can suggest user-friendly layouts and interactions that present the data that schools collect in a simple and easy-to-understand format.

Matt Jones, SFSCMAC IT Director said:

“We engaged with Mike in July 2023, looking to build on PowerBI reports that we had developed in house, but looking to rapidly add elements to help standardised assessment reporting in preparation for the start of the new academic year. Mike initially met with us to learn about our Trust, what was important to us and the intended output; subsequently we were provided with a detailed breakdown of pricing based on the complexity of measures that we had requested. Mike’s attention to detail and the want to learn what the underlying data has meant that the output of reports has been of a consistently high standard.

Mike’s no-pressure approach has been invaluable to us, as it has allowed us to take time to review, check and reflect on the work before submitting feedback.

We are excited about the impact that the reports will have on the staff that interact with them and look forward to working with Mike on other projects in due course.”

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