Bournville College Case Study

 

Active Dashboards stood out as the easiest to use solution with excellent graphics and the ability for both users and administrators to make change themselves

The Challenge

With the College making significant investments in its infrastructure, Bournville needs to manage its resources closely and operate within its agreed targets. In particular, the monitoring of students throughout the academic lifecycle, including enrolment, student learner numbers, attrition rates, and achieved outcomes is fundamental to ensuring that the College hits its targets and can demonstrate a first class performance to its stakeholders.

Prior to engaging with Dynistics, the reporting cycle presented a number of issues to the College’s management team. Information required to manage the College was held in many different software systems and this created difficulties when trying to compare performance across different areas of the College and delayed the availability of all the information needed for decision-making.

Active Dashboards Solution

Mike Dillon, Operations Manager of the College was tasked with addressing the reporting problem and identified a dashboard solution as the way forward. Implementing a dashboard solution would provide senior management of the College with actionable information in real time, straight to their computer desktop. A range of graphical displays would pull together a range of source data and help give meaning to the underlying data.

Three potential suppliers of dashboards were selected and each solution was fully assessed, including downloading and testing trial versions of the software. Active Dashboards stood out as the easiest to use solution with excellent graphics and the ability for both users and administrators to make changes themselves, thus also meeting the important requirement for flexibility.

Implementation

The Active Dashboards solution was quickly implemented within the College’s core IT infrastructure and integrated with the student records system, timetabling and registration system, financial system and other bespoke databases. Drawing upon information from all of these data sources, Active Dashboards enabled the college to generate a range of management information charts.

As part of the implementation process, Dynistics provided valuable consultation and training services to enable the college understand exactly what they wanted from the system and to agree on the standard formats and content for the dashboards across the College – this consistency is most important in such a complex organisation. For example, a standard colour is used to represent the same age group of students in dashboards across the whole College.

Within a short period of time, Active Dashboards played an integral role in the management of the College, indeed far more quickly than anticipated. Key members of the management team expressed tremendous interest and enthusiasm from Day One and as part of this enthusiasm many requests for new dashboards and modifications were expressed.

As testament to its success, the Active Dashboards solution is accessed by more than 30 managers at one time and providing accurate, real-time information at the click of a button.

Outcome

The implementation of Active Dashboards has facilitated daily monitoring of core indicators. Management find the visual representation of data in Active Dashboards extremely valuable and the drill-down facility means that they can access the underlying data whenever detailed scrutiny is required.

Over the enrolment period in September, Active Dashboards are used to monitor performance and student enrolments in real-time. This enables faster invoicing of students with a positive impact on cash-flow and enables judgements to be made on the profitability of individual courses by monitoring the generation of income from learners against the delivery costs of the course.

As the academic year progresses Active Dashboards is used to monitor performance such as attendance and examination success. Improved monitoring leads to faster interventions and improved performance bringing new positive benefits to the College, for example in its performance assessments by OFSTED and the Skills Funding Agency.

The use of Active Dashboards is already being extended across other areas of the College with even more exciting plans for the future. With funding for some Full Cost Learners coming from local employers, Active Dashboards
will be used to provide employers with the facility to view the learning progress of their employees. A further development to provide student access to view their individual dashboard is also being considered. Developments such as these can clearly differentiate the College from its competitors and further improve overall performance.

 

Improved performance of the College

by establishing and clearly reporting progress against defined standards.

Reduced IT Development workload

as a result of standardising on a single, easy- to-configure dashboard platform.

Enhanced communication with local employers

through facilities for them to view dashboards illustrating the learning progress of their employees.

Improved management information

available in real-time, enabling management to focus on the future development of the College rather than past performance.

From the client

"Active Dashboards is very easy to use and most importantly it gives us ownership of the system because we can make any changes ourselves, reducing the ongoing investment required going forward"

Mike Dillon,
Assistant Principle Operations,
Bournville College

 

"What really impressed me was the speed of implementation, once we had identified the key management areas, Dynistics were able to install and support the development of the whole system in few days. "

Mike Dillon,
Assistant Principle Operations,
Bournville College

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