Coleg Menai, a further education college in Bangor North Wales has rolled out Dynistics Active College Dashboards business intelligence software to help it benchmark against targets set by the Department for Children, Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) in Wales; the results of which are published in a league table each summer.
Active Dashboards allows Coleg Menai to provide concise, accurate data and to measure its performance across college departments, subject areas and individual courses against the benchmarks set for all colleges in Wales.
“Active Dashboards provides management information to the college’s staff at the click of a mouse, and is graphically depicted to show trends as well as providing a ‘traffic light’ system against the benchmarks set across all 25 Welsh colleges by DCELLS – we can immediately identify if we’re above or below a target and by how much,” explains Meirion Roberts, Performance Systems Manager, Coleg Menai.
“With over 10,000 students in the college and around 580 staff, we have an enormous amount of data to drill down into and cross tabulate in order to provide the information for league tables.
“There’s no doubt that its made the job of providing data to the Welsh league tables a much faster and more efficient process as well as providing college staff with ownership of their own data related to their departments, courses and students.”
Performance of Wales’ 25 further education colleges is published each year and selects three main areas for comparison;
College completion; the number of students that start and the number that finish – thus highlighting the number that dropped out
Attainment; from those who completed the course, how many achieved the course qualification.
Success rates; from those who started the course, how many achieved the course qualification.
The dashboards allow the college to monitor student data faster and more efficiently and have completely eliminated the need for spread sheets or lengthy reports that were slow and cumbersome to produce. Their use goes beyond just the league tables as they also provide a powerful tool for ESTYN inspections (the Welsh equivalent of OFSTED) and the college finance team.
“Like any college we have national benchmarks to achieve in terms of student performance and success and the dashboards help us monitor all manner of things including student attendance. We can drill down to see which courses have attendance problems and even monitor individual attendance,” explains Meirion Roberts.
“We’re able to link the software to our Celcat time tabling system and dashboard the information held there; essentially, if we can measure it, we can manage it.”
Anthony Dent, Managing Director, Dynistics comments: “Active Dashboards’ unique ability to represent Welsh funding data is setting the standard for College reporting in Wales. We are looking forward to delivering the benefits to other Welsh colleges over the next twelve months”
“Colleges are increasingly making a choice by opting to purchase our best of breed solution because it enables them to immediately obtain new insights from their existing systems and to improve results”