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MIS Systems Thread, Birmingham Schools - Where are you going next in Technical; Originally Posted by creese I'd love to know too. Some examples would be useful. We have had several schools forced ...
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    tli
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    Perhaps we need a new thread for the 'Assessment Debate'!!

    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    I'd love to know too. Some examples would be useful.

    We have had several schools forced to use other MIS and complained so much that after a while were allowed back to SIMS.
    If people are interested in the assessment side of things and the relative merits of CMIS and SIMS in this respect, perhaps someone should start a new thread?

    In the meantime, my understanding is that CMIS is more flexible and concise because of the way it stores the assessment data. Unlike SIMS which needs separate aspects for each subject and multiple aspects for each subject to cope with different grading systems (GCSE, BTEC etc.), CMIS uses generic templates which mean that, for data entry, the user just enters a grade into, for instance, 'Year10 Summer' and CMIS will ensure that the appropriate gradeset is shown and that subject details are assigned automatically. Anyone reporting on the assessment just needs to refer to 'Year10 Summer' to pull through the correct data.

    If people want to know more, see you in a new thread!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    Unlikely. There are no plans to go web based.

    If you want web based you have SLG which like a few other bolt-ons will access over the web, including Android and that other mobile thingy.
    Not striclty true...

    Users prefer a “rich experience”
    IT departments prefer a “no client” solution
    Rich Internet Applications (RIA) meet both preferences
    A cloud based solution would seem to be a necessity

    Last few pages of the presentation.

    http://www.capita-cs.co.uk/SIMSConfe...hil%20Neal.pdf

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    CAM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    Or even SLG!
    Much more functionality than from EMerge. It delivers beautifully on WP7 and the phone is cheaper then the Groupcall App!

    Now where is that 'so called' Assessment Data that SIMS ain't capable of?
    Behind the dozen or so script error popups and the loading bar on the Assessment Web Part.

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    At the Birmingham City Football Ground presentation to Birmingham Schools this afternoon Serco committed not only to continuing to support Facility (including the accounts module) for the next five years, but also producing the reports that Academy convertors will require to complete their financial reporting to the DfE using the YPLA financial handbook guidance – Paul Harrington actually said that they have people working on the reports at the moment.

    For me that certainly confirms that there is no necessity for Birmingham Schools / Academy convertors to move to a different MIS immediately.

    -Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by tli View Post
    If people are interested in the assessment side of things and the relative merits of CMIS and SIMS in this respect, perhaps someone should start a new thread?In the meantime, my understanding is that CMIS is more flexible and concise because of the way it stores the assessment data. Unlike SIMS which needs separate aspects for each subject and multiple aspects for each subject to cope with different grading systems (GCSE, BTEC etc.), CMIS uses generic templates which mean that, for data entry, the user just enters a grade into, for instance, 'Year10 Summer' and CMIS will ensure that the appropriate gradeset is shown and that subject details are assigned automatically. Anyone reporting on the assessment just needs to refer to 'Year10 Summer' to pull through the correct data.If people want to know more, see you in a new thread!!!
    Summat ain't logical there! CMIS is tied to pre-defined Templates!?In SIMS AM7 you can set up what you want to do whatever you want to do!So isn't that MORE flexible and LESS tied-down???

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    We are planning an evaluation session in Birmingham on Tues 20th Sept focusing on Assessment and Finance should schools want to find out more about how SIMS handles these issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    Summat ain't logical there! CMIS is tied to pre-defined Templates!?In SIMS AM7 you can set up what you want to do whatever you want to do!So isn't that MORE flexible and LESS tied-down???
    I tend to agree with @Sivadam here, in that SIMS is more flexible. However, I've seen a demo of assessment in CMIS and, although less flexible, it does seem to make it easier to create one style of marksheet and have that style applied to many other subjects, rather than having to create each subject's marksheet template from, more or less, scratch.

    All in all though, I much prefer the short-term-pain-long-term-gain of SIMS over anything else I've seen. I just wish it wasn't quite so painful.

  8. Thanks to NorthernSands from:

    Sivadam (13th July 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernSands View Post
    I tend to agree with @Sivadam here, in that SIMS is more flexible. However, I've seen a demo of assessment in CMIS and, although less flexible, it does seem to make it easier to create one style of marksheet and have that style applied to many other subjects, rather than having to create each subject's marksheet template from, more or less, scratch.

    All in all though, I much prefer the short-term-pain-long-term-gain of SIMS over anything else I've seen. I just wish it wasn't quite so painful.
    The very flixibility of SIMS does make the setting up of the original Template time-consuming (but not difficult!). However, once they are done once they can be used for ever! Or until you need to edit them (maybe because DfE, or some other body, moves the goalposts!) And the fact that you can clone them, as well as edit them, also makes this easy to do.
    It is because of this flexibility, tied to the fact that you can easily invent your own criteria, that I keep asking why some people think that AM7 cannot do what other systems do, whatever MIS they use! It may be that somebody does come up with such an example, and prove me wrong, but it always seems to go quiet when I pose the question!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 13th July 2011 at 09:12 AM.

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    APC
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    SIMS is not as flexible as CMIS in assessment for numerous reasons... some of which were covered in the post from TLI above..

    Many of the issues raised in the technical assessment seminar at the recent SIMS Conference were questions on 'basic' functionality that already exists within CMIS and has done for the last 15years!... Capita's response to most of these requests were that it may be made possible in the next platform.... as no development is going to happen in the current SIMS platform apart from 'polishing'..

    Perhaps some of the SIMS converts here have only seen the standard fixed models within CMIS - it is a much more confirguable system than SIMS, which is a shame as sims has other areas where things are easier - such as data import/export , but why would you need to use excel if the MIS is capable of doing all you need in the first place...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    T
    It is because of this flexibility, tied to the fact that you can easily invent your own criteria, that I keep asking why some people think that AM7 cannot do what other systems do, whatever MIS they use! It may be that somebody does come up with such an example, and prove me wrong, but it always seems to go quiet when I pose the question!
    One example is that Sims will not let you use a formula to calculate a column once and once only and then make that Column editable without the original formula kicking in again and overwriting it. This is a very useful and used feature in Facility and can't be done in Sims .Net

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    I went to the Serco 'Progresso' demo yesterday and was pleased to hear confirmation from serco on the future of facility finance which as GregJ states above removes any need for us to look at other MIS systems at all...

    Progresso seems to be the way forwards with data being made available to leadership automatically as and when its needed - far better than anything Ive seen in discover for example...

    I wait in anticipation to see more in the Autumn term....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beduffshirl View Post
    One example is that Sims will not let you use a formula to calculate a column once and once only and then make that Column editable without the original formula kicking in again and overwriting it. This is a very useful and used feature in Facility and can't be done in Sims .Net
    This is true, I haven't found an easy way to do this in SIMS and it would be useful. To a certain extent I can get around this, but not in an ideal way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beduffshirl View Post
    One example is that Sims will not let you use a formula to calculate a column once and once only and then make that Column editable without the original formula kicking in again and overwriting it. This is a very useful and used feature in Facility and can't be done in Sims .Net
    You could do that by producing a Marksheet from any Template that includes the formula. Then calculate the Marksheet. Then produce a new data entry column for the data required (it could actually be there from the start!), and copy the results of the formula column into into that data entry column. The Formula column could then be removed from the Template or could be hidden - just in case you changed your mind and wanted to do the calculation again 10 years later!
    This is quite a simple procedure really - as compared to some others that I could think of e.g. one Marksheet/Template picks up Formula calculations from one or more different Marksheet/Templates! In fact, this is a better way of doing it as the links to the different Marksheets will always be present and the Marksheet containing the formula could just be available to the owner!
    Last edited by Sivadam; 13th July 2011 at 09:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sivadam View Post
    You could do that by producing a Marksheet from any Template that includes the formula. Then calculate the Marksheet. Then produce a new data entry column for the data required (it could actually be there from the start!), and copy the results of the formula column into into that data entry column. The Formula column could then be removed from the Template or could be hidden - just in case you changed your mind and wanted to do the calculation again 10 years later!
    This is quite a simple procedure really - as compared to some others that I could think of e.g. one Marksheet/Template picks up Formula calculations from one or more different Marksheet/Templates! In fact, this is a better way of doing it as the links to the different Marksheets will always be present and the Marksheet containing the formula could just be available to the owner!
    That is not really a viable solution as the process of copying, and pasting etc needs to be redone if a new child enters the class. It is also a very longwinded process for a Primary school to do, particularly as they will have to repeat it in many marksheets for different subjects and year groups/classes.
    Our tracking templates also take colour from calculated targets through hidden formula columns. This would not be possible with the suggested solution.

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    Looks like Greg/Emma have provided the answer to the original poster, so as tli suggests, suggest this post is finished and someone start the discussion re. assessment in different MIS thread??

    It's one I've actually thought about myself, but simply never seem to have the time/energy to do so and deal with the follow up from what I'd probably state there. But it would be based on curiosity into what basic model other systems follow for the definition/storage/analysis of assessment data, as I personally would be surprised if there arn't significantly better models than the SIMS one out there. I mean - having to give a name to a "holder" of a piece of assessment, and that holder is really only linked to the student, and then having to refer to that holder by the name string in any work you do.

    What I'd expect a decent system to do is allow you to, at definition time, have it associated with the type of course/qualification that the assessment is for, that where performance measures are relevant, have the system know, by that definition, that the grade in question has whatever weighting so that performance measure analysis is simple and handled by the system. Moreover, the system should, by that model, allow an easy top down/drill down model for viewing assessment that is stored in the system i.e. management get a front page where they can click on KS4, then see Y10 & Y11 listed, click on one of those, see all subjects running within that year, click on a subject, see all classes that deliver that subject, see summaries at that level etc etc etc.

    Go4Schools (albeit an assessment/reporting system rather than a full MIS) is an interesting example of that type of approach.

    And the model should make ad-hoc reporting easy i.e. "give me all targets for Y10 GCSE Maths" for example. You wouldn't need to know the name of the "holder", as you would know that the holder is a "target" type, and the relationships are such that you'd be able to specify: Year = 10, Course = GCSE Maths. That type of thing. All that criteria is there in SIMS, but you have to mess around with marksheets to relate anything, and it makes ad-hoc reporting by referencing name strings extremely messy and either with poor performance for anything complex or a non starter in the worst cases. I've never understood why the basic model can't be more sophisticated :-)

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