Being Data and decision-driven for continued improvement

MATs and schools are not short of data, but are you finding that you are drowning in all that data? So much so that you can’t see the wood for the trees. Making informed decisions to improve learning, teaching and business outcomes is challenging to say the least.

It’s useful to ask yourself the following questions so that you can use your data for making better decisions.

  • What are your most important trust-wide and school-level decisions?
  • What information will reduce uncertainty to make these decisions better?
  • How will these decisions improve something to achieve your strategic goals?

When there is lots of disparate data across a Trust, it can take a lot of time and human resource to consolidate it to help inform decision making. This burden can take leaders’ focus away from what the school is actually there for – educating our children.

What is the ideal Data Management position for a MAT?

In a perfect world, schools within a Trust would be bringing their native data from various MISs into a central data warehouse, which is where data can really start getting interesting by displaying patterns and correlations between different data sets.

Not only that, but we believe that MAT leaders also desire a way to present data visually to different audiences. As such, making Data Management and Reporting easier by reducing time taken to manage native data and allowing for true comparisons to be made. This can result in timely and effective decision making that has a positive impact on pupil progress and ultimately attainment.

We speak with MAT leaders regularly and they say that they would like to be more ‘data-driven’ and they desire a way to be able to explore their data in a methodical way that facilitates decisions with reduced uncertainty to deliver continued improvement. But not all data is equally valuable and unless it is maintained in a Data Warehouse that can facilitate interpretation and reporting, informed decision making is difficult.  Using a lot of data to build a multitude of dashboards doesn’t necessarily lead to better decisions. Information dashboards and reports will have more value if they are decision-driven rather than data-driven.

For those reasons, here at Novatia, we developed Questa, which is a Data Warehouse and reporting tool that brings together key school data from various sources, in a visual format, allowing you to quickly see what is happening, and analyse it further. With a few clicks, you can dig deeper, focusing your analysis on relevant areas that can have an impact on your Trust performance, such as attainment, behaviour, finance or HR.

Questa dashboardQuesta creates an overarching Trust-level view as well as comparisons amongst member schools. By bringing in areas such as finance and HR into the Data Warehouse, you can also make correlations between learning outcomes and the more ‘business’ side of your MAT. The way it has been designed focuses on building a better decision experience for users and leaders as well as introducing visual design and analytical rigour.

Look out for subsequent blogs which will explore further the Questa design principals and how Questa can help you bring your data into a Data Warehouse and put you on the journey to making data-driven decisions that improves the overall performance of your Trust.

To find out how Questa can work in your Trust and Schools, book your free demo now!

Book a  Questa demo

Let us help you ...

Alternatively, if you would like further help and would like to speak directly to us, get in touch either by phone on 01962 832632 or by email on  We’d be happy to provide guidance.


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Topics: questa, ICT Schools, MATS-first analytics, school data audits, MATS, analytics, data analytics for MATs, data analytics for Schools, evidence based decision making, ICT reviews, ICT vision & strategy