The dashboard is a customised business intelligence platform, developed using Microsoft Power BI and delivered via the Azure cloud, which the department says provides the insights needed to help school leaders create a world-class education system.
The Department says the School Improvement Plan encourages each of the 512 government schools to identify priority areas for attention and then establish a school improvement planning cycle that promotes continuous improvement.
School improvement has always been a priority for the State – but when annual school report plans were reviewed it was clear that some schools made exceptional advances, others were slower to improve.
To make that information accessible, but ensure it remains secure and well protected, the Department has developed the school improvement dashboard – a customised business intelligence platform developed using Microsoft Power BI and delivered via the Azure cloud which provides the insights needed to help school leaders create a world-class education system across the State.
James McNeill is the manager of business intelligence solutions and services for the Department, and has overseen the development and deployment of the dashboard which went live State-wide in September 2018.
Every government school in South Australia will put their new school improvement plans into place starting 2019.
Microsoft says early testing of the Power BI solution, undertaken with a dozen school principals, revealed just how intuitive it is, requiring little to no formal training – "an important consideration for a State education system with schools widely dispersed from the Anangu lands right down to Mount Gambier and everywhere in between".
And according to Microsoft, a couple of three-minute explanatory videos on YouTube were enough to get school leaders up and running and primed for school improvement planning.