The Ministry of Education is implementing an analysis and reporting tool from SAS Institute which should help it better identify schools that are performing well or may in need of a helping hand.
Doug Miller, the ministry’s monitoring and analysis manager, says the first phase of the rollout of SAS’s SPM (strategic performance management) tool is planned for early next year. When fully implemented the tool will allow the ministry to carry out its schools monitoring strategy.
“That strategy is based on the early identification of schools, or groups of schools, that are having issues that impact on educational outcomes and provision, and schools that are performing extremely well.”
The SPM tool will extract data from sources within the ministry and bring it together in a scorecard approach, Miller says. “It’s not true balanced scorecarding, but an adaptation of the balanced scorecard approach. Each school will have a series of indicators that will allow us to identify issues.”
The ministry will also implement SAS’s Enterprise Guide, a tool that allows ad hoc queries, “which will allow us to analyse dispersed data across the ministry and produce reports, web pages and PDF files containing the output”.
Together, the tools should allow the ministry to bring together information from dispersed sources and provide some predictive capability. “They’re knowledge-based systems, not transactional systems.”
Miller says SAS was chosen because it aligns well with the existing systems within the ministry’s data management group.
Other SAS sites in New Zealand include Telecom, TelstraClear, Air New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development.
The education ministry’s implementation is worth about $400,000.