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MIS Systems Thread, First thread, a few questions. in Technical; Hello all, I've been lurking on this forum for tips and I've found myself in a quandary that I need ...
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    First thread, a few questions.

    Hello all, I've been lurking on this forum for tips and I've found myself in a quandary that I need some help with!

    For some background, I work at an Academy in the North West as a data/SIMS administrator in a medium-sized school. I have only been doing the job for 6 months after a general admin role in the front office, and I've had to learn pretty much from scratch with no proper SIMS training and just some notes the previous post holder left me. I've had to deconstruct everything the previous post holder made to understand how it all works, and I am now pretty comfortable with building exactly what I need but since the summer, we have a new principal who has essentially declared us in 'special measures' (due to exam results) and so we're 'starting all over again' almost like a brand new school. This has given me a chance to change things around.

    However, we have recently bought into SISRA Online for our reporting needs - targets, assessments etc. I usually hold all this data in SIMS then just export to Excel and do the usual percentages and whatnot, but the summer was my first exam season and it was pretty full on, having to do exam analysis back and forth through various spreadsheets and SIMS marksheets. To cut a long story short, afterwards I discovered that our SIMS is in a bit of a mess - still holding data and all the marksheets, templates, grade sets, results sets, targets etc. from 2003 onwards and putting a strain on our servers at school. So I went about deleting some things and seeing what I could salvage for use in the future, which it turns out is very little - basically I will be starting from scratch! I'm talking all new Grade Sets, Results Set, new templates/marksheets etc.I've actually been telling my boss that the whole setup will take a while, but now I realised the enormity of the job I think it will take me until at least Xmas for me to get everything ready for putting into SISRA. Problem is the boss expects some sort of system by Monday morning (we're on half-term this week after our first reporting period) and he's not very good at listening to peoples advice, but is there really any point setting up a half-baked system just to 'impress' his bosses with wrong grades and data? Or should I just tell him straight how long it will take, even if he doesn't like the answer? Is Xmas a reliable time-frame (I also have a week off in three weeks time.)

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

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    matt40k's Avatar
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    I'd go get some quotes from your LA, Capita or one of those third parties, see how much they charge and how long they think it'll take. Might make your boss think twice, either that or you'll get a few extra people to help.

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    Check out a guy called David Pott he does advice / consultancy and i believe also has an arm that sells a pre-built reporting / assessment system. I can't remember if it is only primary, but i doubt it. Defo worth having a look, especially if you have the luxury of starting from scratch, cos you can just import all of their pre-designed templates / aspects. It even includes analysis.
    i came across it from an old newsletter of his, which is also worth signing up to, and if you haven't already, join SupportNet

    to find david, just google for him

    le edit : btw

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    We just overhauled ours- by we, I mean I - and I calmly told them when they asked that it was possible but that what they wanted would take 300 hours in the first instance and then a further 300 hours over the course of the year. 'A long time' isn't quantifiable, 300 hours is. Do one marksheet and multiply that by however many you have to do for some idea? We are 1900 pupils and everything takes a long time also make sure they know exactly what they want before you start.

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    In terms of just SISRA I don't know how much you've played with it, but there's some premade Excel addins, and SIMs reports you can download directly and use to format/upload the information for the basics.

    Steve

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    If you are starting from scratch in SIMs and want to delete old data then the Tools>Performance>Assessment>System utilities are very powerful and will allow you to delete a lot of aspects etc.
    I would also get advice from Capita and if your principal is really in a hurry then getting in a consultant (Ł800 a day!!) to help might be worthwhile. The customised reports service that they offer can give you a lot of what SISRA can do without the need to export data etc and that may also be worth considering.

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    Hi thezebralad

    This might be a bit late for you but send me a PM with your contact details if you still need any help with your SIMS setup, or with the extraction of data from SIMS for upload to SISRA.

    I've put together a ‘SIMS Roadmap’ spreadsheet which should give you everything you need to setup a complete assessment collection process within SIMS. This includes grade sets, result sets, aspects, templates and category filters with information on the best way to name and configure them.

    I also have an email I’ve sent out to a number of schools with instructions on how to setup some SISRA templates which will make the extraction of data from SIMS a bit easier.

    Hopefully hear from you soon, and if there’s anyone else out there who may benefit from this information, feel free to PM me

    Matt

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