Nick Wilson on the innovations in MIS

Nick Wilson on the innovations in MIS

Following on from our recent Independent Leader magazine feature on the future of MIS, we asked Nick Wilson, managing director of Public Sector at Advanced, to answer some key questions on switching providers, data migration and data analytics. He shares his thoughts

What is the value of switching to a new MIS?

We believe there are three key benefits to moving to modern, cloud-based MIS solutions in contrast to older, on-premise systems:

  • Operational efficiencies as well as cost savings: capital outlay is removed and the management and maintenance of on-premise solutions is taken away from the school, driving efficiencies.
  • Better learning outcomes: many incumbent MIS solutions haven’t adapted to match the progress that teaching and learning practices have made. Technology needs to embrace a learner-centric approach, where insights from real-time, live data can identify trends or highlight issues so that early intervention needs are identified and, if actioned properly, help to improve learner outcomes.
  • Generational decisions: For schools to get the best out of their investments they need best-of-breed solutions integrated with their MIS and this requires cloud-based technologies to enable the easiest interoperability.

How fast is the process of data migration in newer MIS – and has this time period shortened since the early days of MIS? Could this be considered a significant development for schools already familiar with MIS?

In today’s world the shifting of data through CTFs and CSV files is much easier because application program interfaces (APIs) enable seamless data imports in minutes. However, moving to a modern, cloud-based MIS system presents a suite of different challenges and requires a different mindset and approach. The questions that should be asked are:

  • How will a transition to the cloud impact my learners?
  • Am I in a safe pair of hands?
  • Are potential providers financially viable for the long term?
  • Can they confidently provide you with a long term roadmap and vision and what reassurances can they offer you around continued support?
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Is data analytics the future of MIS?

We see ‘learning analytics’ as the future of MIS. It gives you the ability to gain insights and drill down into the detail, pulling data from multiple sources to see the interaction between the data points from which to then see trends and profiles. National data and benchmarking gives you a rich picture of pupil data, events, trends and validation points with which to drive school improvement and achieve better learner outcomes. Take this view across multiple schools and improvements from trust level will happen, as well as at individual school, department, class and pupil levels.

Are there any pioneering developments around MIS?

We see personalised learning as the future and this will be enhanced with the adoption of adaptive learning tools. There is, undoubtedly, scope for considerable change in the way learners take on board information and how schools assess their comprehension prior to delivering their next tailored lesson or assignment. This has the potential to bring a step-change to learner outcomes. Gartner predicts this is two years away in higher education and we think schools won’t be too far behind.