Data. In theory, all the data that you collect and hold should be helping you to improve the educational experience and outcomes of your pupils.  However, as we all know, that doesn’t always happen. The reality can be far different.

In fact, Many MAT and academy leaders feel that instead of data helping them, they are often hindered by having far too much of it; confused further by it sometimes being out of date or showing conflicting information. They cannot see the wood for the trees.  They are literally drowning in data.

So how can you control and manage your data?

There are three key steps that you need to take to regain control of your data and turn it into intelligence to help you run your MAT and academies more effectively.

  1. Set a Data Vision: This will help you to decide how you aspire to use your data – what you must report, what you need as a bare minimum and what you really want from your data e.g. helping you to identify expertise and any areas needing possible interventions.
  2. Do a Data Audit: Now you know how you aspire to use your data, you need to develop an understanding of your current reality. How do you currently capture, collect, surface, and analyse data? You are probably already aware of some of the pinch points but really consider the data ‘journey’.
  1. Close the Data Gap: Is there a difference between your desired state and current reality? If so, draw up an action plan and make a commitment to implement actions to close this gap. Develop a culture of using data effectively, not just collecting it.

This action plan should be distilled into a project plan with clear aims, activities, roles and responsibilities.  Set specific aims that can be measured and are time bound.  This will help you in achieving your data aspirations and gain control of capture, surfacing and analysis of your data.  You will no longer be drowning, you will be swimming with strength and purpose!


We've written a full Briefing Note to help schools and trusts manage and control their data. To download a copy of this Novatia Note, please click below.

School Data  Tip Sheet


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