The advantages of a one-stop-shop MIS

Imagine if Amazon only sold books on its page and each time you needed something else, like a home appliance, beauty product or technical device, you were redirected to a different site, requesting a new login and credentials. It would simply not be Amazon, and it wouldn’t be as successful and popular as we know it to be.

It is the user experience as a whole that makes the success of a platform, not the one single product offering.

When shopping online or exploring, or transacting, the sites that give us the best experience are those that are easy to access, present a variety choices and give the possibility to perform multiple activities in one place. These sites are designed with a one-stop-shop approach.

So why should your school MIS be any different?

At Bromcom, we think it shouldn’t.

A one-stop-shop MIS is all you need

all in one

The majority of school MIS platforms on the market lack a multi-option interface. They are able to provide basic and individual functions that you would expect a management system to offer, such as assessment recording, morning and afternoon attendance, and reporting for the school census. However, a school needs so much more in order to function effectively.

For instance, when we talk about assessment, recording limited individual results is not enough for teachers to fully picture their students’ development. The progress, from one result to another, should also be tracked and measured. It should be analysed in view of a variety of factors (like changing personal circumstances of the student, previous performance results, attendance, etc.) to determine whether the teaching method is working and pupils are responding to interventions. It should help you monitor your vulnerable groups and the effectiveness of any extra support they receive.

Therefore, assessment tools should be combined with powerful analytical tools that can give an in-depth insight into students’ development and inform school reports in detail.

As it stands, most MIS don’t have effective features for analytics built-in within their platform, and teachers using these types of MIS are having to resolve by either buying additional add-ons or conducting more analysis manually.

They may have the inconvenience of swapping between different systems, each with a different way of working, and none being able to give the holistic overview of all information held about students, nor the ability to instantly drill down and filter on any aspect of data. Keeping your data together in one place is what you want. If you're a runner, you want Strava, or whichever app you use, to tell you how many kms you run, map your track, generate reports that measure the speed and frequency of your activity - all through the same app. The last thing you want is having to jump from app to app and from device to device in order to keep at pace with your running. A school should want no less from an MIS.

Other essential features that most MIS tend to lack are Finance and Communication management systems. In such cases, schools have to make up for the lack of resources, independently source the tools elsewhere, and incur an extra cost. Buying extra add-ons will inevitably create the need for more training time because school staff will have to learn to use different platforms. Finally, it will mean more work and or risk of inaccuracies because integration if any is provided may be incomplete and some data may have to be entered multiple times into different systems. Teachers, administrators and SLT need to rely on a single point of truth, and certainly never have to extract data from one platform and then manually add it to a different one just so that they can carry out the analysis that they want.

A modern school should look for an all-in-one solution that will save cost and time, so that teachers and students can be more invested in teaching and learning, not eternally processing data through systems that are too slow and obsolete to meet demand.

Bromcom’s one-stop-shop approach

In our experience at Bromcom, we understand that teachers are fully aware of the laborious workload that using multiple systems brings. In over 30 years, working closely with schools, LAs and MATs, we’ve listened to each pain point and issue highlighted by our partners. Based on what we’ve learned, we’ve continuously adapted and improved our offering to respond to all requirements.

The one-stop-shop solution has been most enthusiastically received by the schools we work with. It’s fast and cost-effective.

When switching to Bromcom, Nick Berryman, Assistant Headteacher at Devonport High School has said:

“We want to go to one system with single sign-on, and from a teaching point of view if I’m going to put it into simplistic terms, I want to go in the classroom, I want to log on, I want to do my register, do my behaviour bits in there and that’s it; I don’t want to be going to logging into five, six, seven different systems to do that.”

Our platform is designed to reduce workload and capital expenditure over time significantly. The MIS eliminates all the inconsistencies caused by the different systems of information, reporting and assessment. It’s easy to access because it is hosted on cloud and as such, you can use it anytime, anywhere.

all in one cloud-MIS

Following their switch to Bromcom in 2016, Harris Federation saw a crucial reduction of annual technical infrastructure cost, and over a period of 3 years, their savings amounted to £2.8 million.

  • Here are some of the tools you’ll find in our one-stop-shop MIS: An integrated Communication tool - Parents, Students and staff are able to connect and communicate at the click of a button with our built-in SMS messaging, email and push notifications for the Student and Parent Apps. Parents can access the tool simply by connecting to the internet and via a web browser or downloading its companion App (available on Android or iOS).
  • Integrated functions within the Parental Portal - The tool visualises and tracks all real-time data, records of attendance, behaviour, assessment, letters, feedback, and other important documents, so that parents stay always informed. Through the same app, access is granted to the school shop, making it possible to transact online payments for anything from trips, clubs and meals to uniforms, donations and any additional product the school may offer. Having everything in one app reduces the administrative burden on the school office dramatically, and provides a secure and fast cashless payment system.

  • Integrated Safeguarding Module: The module is fully embedded in the MIS and helps schools effectively manage their safeguarding obligations whilst streamlining and simplifying the process for teachers and school staff. It records incidents, and links follow up actions and communications. All information is retained in the student details page, providing easy access to those that need it.

  • Integrated analytics and Power Bi - Bromcom Analytics mines and combines data from across the MIS system, giving school teachers and leaders a complete picture of what is happening in their schools.

    MATs and LAs, in particular, have the possibility of accessing PowerBi, integrated within the same platform. Because MATs and LAs need to access large datasets comprising of information gathered from multiple institutions, they need a system that can handle the size of these datasets. The integration of PowerBi within the MIS infrastructure means that the whole database can be queried via a secure and automated feed.

  • An Integrated Finance Tool – We are the only supplier that has a Finance module integrated with the Cloud-MIS. With Bromcom Finance, the leadership team can generate live and dynamic dashboards, so that schools can keep track of their accounts without the need for static reports.

The integrated features make Bromcom a unique all-in-one MIS. If you’re designing a school improvement plan, moving to a one-stop-shop management system, is something that you may want to consider as part of the plan.

Having all functions and data at your fingertips will ultimately save you money and time you may want to invest in other areas. For any questions, or just to have an informal chat on our products, drop us a line or give us a call.

26 January 2021 / Liza Adebisi