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MIS Systems Thread, SIMS? in Technical; Originally Posted by tmcd35 Stepping over what that says about a teacher who probably knew for more than a day ...
  1. #31

    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Stepping over what that says about a teacher who probably knew for more than a day that OFSTED are coming... Is the NM the right person to be designing reports? We've been discussing this alot here since we are just starting the move over to SIMS from a lesser MIS. I think we've agreed that as NM it's important that I gain as much overall knowledge of the system as possible, and designing reports is something I think I can do, I'm not expected to do it as part of my day to day job. This is what the data manager is being paid for, atleast that's how it's currently sitting here.

    Also, if a school appoints a new NM knowing he has little previous experience of SIMS (I'd say a very likely possibility) then they are hardly going to blame the NM for lack of knowledge
    You are missing the point, which is the claim that someone could learn SIMS 'completley' in a week. They can't. therefore there is no point in the OP planning to attend an interview (which I'm sure he/she will not) believing they are an expert in SIMS by reading a manual.

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    Sarconia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    If you do not grasp the relationship between Timetable, Academic Management and the rest of SIMS you are totally screwed. I have helped some schools out who thought they were well organised only for me to explain to them that some of their basics were wrong!
    To understand SIMS totally is a massive learning curve! And the more you learn the more you realise how little you did actually know in the first place!
    That's true, I understand how everything links together in SIMS.net fairly well but I'm always learning new things. At the moment I'm having a nice 3-way headbang between a school, myself and an exam board (yes it is the usual one) over BTEC basedata/results. Nobody seems to know what's going on (the exams officer is new, I've never dealt with BTEC's before and the exam board is clueless). Trying to make sense of it all, well... I'll get there in the end, it's just that getting to that point with virtually zero guidance is difficult.

    For an NM though, I'd say all you'd really need to know is the technical side of SIMS.net, how to perform upgrades and installations.

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    vikpaw's Avatar
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    interesting points both of you.
    @OP; - i would ask at interview what level of interaction will be needed with SIMS. I believe that even a data manager shouldn't be doing all of the grunt work, making and editing reports. I argue that the role to a degree is overall management and teaching people to make their own reports. Yes it can be done, but as usage of SIMS grows across all staff, the role needs to be more of an enabler rather than a doer. I always advise that there comes a key moment when a Data Processor is needed in addition to the Data Manager, so the DM (no Danger Mouse jokes please :P ) fixes problems but the DP implements the solution, and does catchup for where teachers really are too busy.

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    aerospacemango (13th July 2010)

  5. #34

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    You are missing the point, which is the claim that someone could learn SIMS 'completley' in a week. They can't. therefore there is no point in the OP planning to attend an interview (which I'm sure he/she will not) believing they are an expert in SIMS by reading a manual.
    Not entirely, no. I accept that you can't learn SIMS within a week. I don't expect to be able to learn it completely within 2 years. We had the assessment training last week and my head still hurts.

    The point I'm making is that with regards to the OP I doubt very much any school would be expecting that level of experience week 1 let alone on interview day. If they get it - it's a very nice bonus for them. But there are more important things to worry about in a NM appointmant than if the candidate can create new reports in the schools chosen MIS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    The point I'm making is that with regards to the OP I doubt very much any school would be expecting that level of experience week 1 let alone on interview day. If they get it - it's a very nice bonus for them. But there are more important things to worry about in a NM appointmant than if the candidate can create new reports in the schools chosen MIS.
    Exactly!

    Too many people seem more concerned with proving that their own SIMS-fu is the best than addressing the OP's worries.

    The school isn't asking for a SIMS expert, but has stated that knowledge of SIMS would be desirable. Not having that knowledge is certainly no reason for not applying, and I would encourage ASM to stick to his/her plan of doing some research and explaining the situation at interview (if called).

  7. #36

    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    Exactly!

    Too many people seem more concerned with proving that their own SIMS-fu is the best than addressing the OP's worries.

    The school isn't asking for a SIMS expert, but has stated that knowledge of SIMS would be desirable. Not having that knowledge is certainly no reason for not applying, and I would encourage ASM to stick to his/her plan of doing some research and explaining the situation at interview (if called).
    Again, the OP asked a question it was answered in a way to claim if he was competant enough that learning SIMS in a week was possible. That claim has been refuted. I for one would not like the OP going to an interview claiming to be completely competant with SIMs from the manual. Better that he find out to what degree a knowledge of SIMS is desirable, a simple email would do this. Better still that they do not believe that on getting the job he could learn it in a couple of days. It is quite obvious that it is not a SIMS job and he will not need to know it inside out. But a unrealistic expectation of picking up SIMS that quick should not be made on a forum such as this.

    I believe from what I have read that the OP is intelligent enough to realise this but other people could read the 'Be a SIMS expert in a week' posting.
    Last edited by creese; 13th July 2010 at 09:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    Imagine a situation where you have someone on the phone, almost in tears, they have OFSTED tomorrow and they need a new machine installed and up and churning out reports, like now!!!! No infrastructure and you have to do it over a slow VNC connection....... then design the reports for her/him. Then declarte you only read the manual a couple of days before you were given the job.
    If that were the case you'd ring your support team and ask for help/visit to get your school through.

    The important thing with interviews is not the mechanics of using 'Sims' but the good practice of using MIS and data handling in general. These are the skills that the school are looking for, that are then transferable between systems, if the school decides to move MIS.

    Things to drop into the conversation/interview when asked about handling of data.

    Privacy notice (FPN)
    Data integrity
    Data security
    Data protection

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    aerospacemango (13th July 2010)

  10. #38

    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjo View Post
    If that were the case you'd ring your support team and ask for help/visit to get your school through.
    A support team who you have told that you are completely competant after reading the manual. Make sure buy a very large Humble Pie.

    It's amazing today how the point of this thread is zooming like Harriers over peoples head. To summarise......
    1. The OP probably doesn't need a great knowledge of SIMS and may never use SIMS.
    2. You cannot learn SIMS in a week.
    3. You should not try to bluff your way through and interview.

  11. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    A support team who you have told that you are completely competant after reading the manual. Make sure buy a very large Humble Pie.

    It's amazing today how the point of this thread is zooming like Harriers over peoples head. To summarise......
    1. The OP probably doesn't need a great knowledge of SIMS and may never use SIMS.
    2. You cannot learn SIMS in a week.
    3. You should not try to bluff your way through and interview.
    Your avatar seems oddly appropriate for this thread...

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  13. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    A support team who you have told that you are completely competant after reading the manual. Make sure buy a very large Humble Pie.

    It's amazing today how the point of this thread is zooming like Harriers over peoples head. To summarise......
    1. The OP probably doesn't need a great knowledge of SIMS and may never use SIMS.
    2. You cannot learn SIMS in a week.
    3. You should not try to bluff your way through and interview.

    Very succinct and very accurate!

    Well done Creese!

  14. #41

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    It's amazing today how the point of this thread is zooming like Harriers over peoples head. To summarise......
    1. The OP probably doesn't need a great knowledge of SIMS and may never use SIMS.
    2. You cannot learn SIMS in a week.
    3. You should not try to bluff your way through and interview.
    About sums it all up nicely

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    LosOjos's Avatar
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    Can I just point out that the OP was talking about a job where 'SIMS knowledge is desirable'. It was in that context I stated he'd be competent in a week. OK, maybe a week is a bit quick, but in a job that isn't too concerned whether you have SIMS knowledge or not, I doubt they're looking for somebody who can use every aspect of SIMS at a professional level. I never claimed that anybody would be an 'expert' within a week.

    EDIT: Just want to clarify a little more, by competent to complete the tasks required of what I imagine is a data managers job, I mean the ability to:
    Create templates
    Import/Export CTF
    Enter & update student details
    Run basic reports

    This is by no means an expert, but I do believe that it's enough to get the critical tasks done while you learn how to perform more advanced tasks. Maybe I need a dictionary, but if you are capable of performing the tasks required of you, are you not competent? There is a big gap between competency and expertise.

    EDIT 2:
    @aerospacemango: just wanted to say, regardless of some of the posts here, don't be put off applying for the job, I'm sure you'll be able to pick it up, even if saying in one week was a bit optimistic and liable to get me shot!
    Last edited by LosOjos; 13th July 2010 at 10:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    A support team who you have told that you are completely competant after reading the manual. Make sure buy a very large Humble Pie.
    Why would the OP have told the support team hes competent? Why would they care, they deal with new starters all the time.

    This job is in a school, he rings the support team explains they have an inspection and would like a help in preparation for the visit, problem solved.

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    @wesleyw; - i do believe he is.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 13th July 2010 at 10:54 AM. Reason: clarity

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    Just to sort of bring things back to topic, it may win the interview or completely kill it, but there is always the point to make that sometimes even the paid for SIMS support isn't as competent as required. You could put that as mildly or as strongly as you like.

    I'm sure we all have experience of bashing their heads trying to speed through the standard flowchart troubleshooter to prove we really have a serious problem that needs investigating.

    So, experience of dealing with third party support is something to mention.

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