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MIS Systems Thread, SIM's custom report in Technical; So, say you take grades a lot, like 6 times a year, and they have carousels on a variety of ...
  1. #16

    vikpaw's Avatar
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    So, say you take grades a lot, like 6 times a year, and they have carousels on a variety of subjects your marksheets could change a lot depending on how it's implemented. If you take a snapshot of the data it could be incorrectly linked if you rely on the assumed link of present group to result.

    However, on the basis you're doing frequent data collection on an on-going basis, you should capture the correct info.

    On the other hand, just to complicate things even more, could you tie the result date together with the group membership date to be sure of the groups at that time. This still leaves you to pick up the template that group was in and what subject it was. Though you could be looking at a different set of templates each reporting period.

    I can see how this wouldn't easily extend to any other site, as it relies on a lot of implicit understanding of how the system is set up, probably dependent on naming conventions and the perfect timetable / assessment structure. I know we re-use some groups for other subjects for ease sometimes, and like i said, at the moment are taking data on a course marksheet due to timetabling problems.

    It's a bit like Quantum Mechanics, if you look too closely at one link it obscures the info in the other link. I think you're going to have to throttle a cat to be sure you know what's up with the data

    This is good fun.

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    Steven_Cleaver (1st May 2013)

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    I am thinking of relying on holding the past data and links in the system somehow rather than rely on trying to do this bit from SIM's not quite sure how yet and am more interested from an overall analysis point, but see where your coming from in regards to snapshot of the data and incorrectly linked.

    At the moment we three data collection points for Core and 2 for none Core at KS3 and 5 Assessment Points across KS4 but we are looking at extending the number of Assessment points now that we feel the data is being used better and more consistantly and is built into the schools Quality Assurance, with the new system it should be able to handle more assessment points and the Analysis of data that goes with this without putting strain on our MIS Officer as she is looking at setting up Class Tracking Marksheets SIM's for departments.

    We are trying to keep the extraction of the data and linking into the system as simple as possible even if we have to extract multiple reports as long as we can link these into the system and tie the data together. Use SIM's as more like a data repository to hold the data abit like a couple of other systems we use and then use our own software to add the analyse to the extracted data. I think SIM's is pretty good at holding the data and linking into the various modules within SIM's that use and manipulate this data fo various purposes.

    We want to try to make it as easy as possible to link the data extracted into the new system as seamless as possible so it would be easier to replicate, this is the only issue with trying to tie the extraction of the data into to many aspects of the system, we want it out in as raw a format as possible.

    As you say if we look to closely at one Link it can obscure the info in another or you can lose sight of where you want to get to, so is a bit three steps forward two steps back on occassion.

    As you say this is fun and have picked up a massive amount from this thread that is extremely useful.

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    Steven_Cleaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMitchell View Post
    There is a way to do this, actually...

    First off, though, a tip - if you want to extract lots of results in SIMS, do it through the results focus, and not the student focus. If you include studentid (via third-party reporting permissions) it'll give you a simple method to join back to a table of students, without having to include extra tables in the underlying views that support the reporting queries.

    You'll need several reports, and it's worth running them as a user with 3rd-party reporting permissions, in order to get at the integer primary key SIMS uses in the tables:

    * student focus - list of students (plus any student-specific data e.g. FSM, SEN status, etc) include StudentID
    * results focus - list of results. If you're in a position where you can filter these by resultset only, the report will output spectacularly fast, even for hundreds of thousands of records. include ResultID
    * template focus - list of templates (include TemplateID) - also show related aspects, and show AspectID for these
    * template focus - list of templates again, with TemplateID, and this time list the related Groups for the templates
    * student focus - for each student (along with their StudentId), show related classes - I tend to filter this one so that Start Date is *before* the day-after-the-reference-point, and End Date is after the day-before-the-reference-point
    * course core properties focus - use the course code and description, and then show related classes (again it's a good idea to filter these by end date)

    Between this set of tables, you have enough information to find the relations between templates->aspects, templates->groups (and therefore classes->aspects), then you can join students->classes thus getting students->class+aspects, and the use the courses->classes relation to give students->course description+aspects

    From there, it's a question of filtering out all the stuff you don't want, and (ideally) having some kind of consistent(ish) naming that means you can add semantics to the aspects in terms of what they actually represent (e.g. Target data, assessment grade, itnervention information, etc).

    Sadly, SIMS doesn't have a direct way of storing subject-based links to groups of aspects, but this method will work if you're wanting to go the route you mention.

    Not that I'm doing something similar here, of course ;-)

    Hope this helps a bit, anyway
    @MattMitchell

    Hi Matt

    We have sort of linked the data but are having to really tweek the code to get this to link to the right Aspects for Students-->Subjects-->Classes particularly where subject codes are used in essence for different courses and the only way to identify the diffrence is Classes, and I think your way would be cleaner but can't quite get my head around the specific links for instance TemplateID and related groups (which groups) I can see these but can't quite follow how which to link and I know this is a pain but was wondering if you didn't mind specifically identifying these.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Basically, you'll be recreating all the info in your own DB, so you need to extract it all separately and then use complex queries to make it understandable.
    e.g. if you run a report on template focus and show marksheet name and group you'll see all the groups that marksheet uses. From it's name you might ascertain the subject.

    You can also show aspect id and name of the aspect, to specifically know the aspects, and which results it ties in with, which you can pull in later. It might also tell you the subject based on aspect name.

    If you ask for both pieces of info at once, you'll end up with that horrible cross product we often get when looking at linked tables. Which is usable, but if you keep them separate, you can join them yourself later if you wanted using an inner join query on external template id.

    So, run them both separately and create two tables. in Excel at this stage for testing. For testing, i just ran the report with a single test template name, but in principal you could do the whole lot.

    So from student focus get a list groups for each kid and for each group you can lookup the template it was applied to and use that to see the aspect that was used. Then from that and another call on the results table, look up the results in that aspect.

    Actually, it's more efficient than the way i described it, but maybe easier to follow. If you look at the SQL tables in SIMS you might get a better idea of how it's laid out.

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    Steven_Cleaver (13th May 2013)

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    Cheers Vikpaw thanks for this it has made it much clearer for me excellent explanation as always, I have been trying various reports using this method but most of these are just pulling out year for group type but having a play I have realised that if we add Class Marksheets to our Assessment Templates sort of using your description I can get Marksheet Name, Group name (Class), Student Adno and Aspect linked but the Class linked to the Aspect name is the bit I was after trying to get cleanly. I have kept Template ID and Aspect ID in as these may be useful, just need to work on this a bit more but looks like I can get a reasonably clean set of data using this and the other 4 reports I have.

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