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How To Improve Your Boarding School With Our New Insights Package

Kurt Meyer

March 15, 2016

Today, I’m excited to launch one of our most requested features - Insights - a tool to help you make sense of your boarding activity and data recorded within Boardingware. Now you can discover trends, create reports and make informed decisions to improve your boarding school.Part of our culture here at Boardingware is to always look for a smarter way to do things. So our design and development team have been working tirelessly to develop a tool that not only provides you with a summary report of your boarding data but also an interactive way to view and understand insights for your student behaviour.This gives you the ability to explore your data in more depth and greater flexibility to zone in on the information that matters most to you. A better understanding of your data will allow you to make better decisions and improvements to your boarding school.It’s been a long time coming, but I promise it’s been worth the wait.Find out how insights can help improve your boarding school below:

Powerful insights that are simple to understand

The problem with traditional summary reports is that they’re static and often only cover broad totals and surface level data. It’s difficult to understand what’s really happening from a single report and even more difficult to make decisions and actions from that data.That’s why we felt the need to build a tool that provided you with relevant insights you can turn into action. It was also important for us to make these insights clear and easy-to-understand, so you can quickly find and discover relevant information without having to read through long reports.As a result, the new insights tool is powerful yet incredibly simple to use. You can analyse leave, pastoral and attendance records across your entire school, a single house, a group of students or even individual students.You can also use filters to zone in on specific datasets and easily export your data in CSV format to generate and print custom reports.And with our recent school management update, you can easily manage who has access to view insights for particular student groups. Being able to limit which staff can access insights is a handy way to protect sensitive information and keep your residential team running smoothly.Click here to learn more about staff and school management with BoardingwareInsights for your boarding school can be viewed in two simple formats: Graph view or Table view.

Graph View

The graph view is a simple way to analyse the bigger picture and to see how your students are behaving over time. Simple colour-coded graphs make it very easy to pick out weekly and monthly trends, or seasonal and yearly patterns. You can also set your own custom date-range and quickly change between different student groups or houses to zone in on particular areas of interest.For example, you might notice a large decrease in attendance rates around October for your entire school. You can then view the same graph for different houses and student groups to investigate the issue in more detail.

Table View

The table view is a handy way to analyse and compare insights for individual student’s. Students names are listed in the left column and the data you choose is displayed alongside them. The data is presented as coloured circles where the size of the circle indicates the value compared to the rest of the students in the same dataset. This makes comparing students in the dataset a simple and visual process. The bigger the circle, the greater the value.

The table view is an effective method to analyse your boarding activity at a more granular level. Gain a greater understanding of your individual students behaviour and compare them with the rest of your students.

So what can you use insights for?

We built insights based off a large amount of customer feedback and suggestions. So with careful consideration for real-life use cases, we designed and built insights with a particular focus on 3 of your core processes: Leave, pastoral and roll/attendance.

Leave insights

The insights tool is useful to understand and compare the leave patterns and behaviour of your students. Learn what destinations are most popular, which leave types don’t get used often, what’s the most common leave destination, who takes the most leave, what’s their most common leave type etc.This data may be useful when reviewing your leave policies and procedures. You might want to increase your boarders leave quota around a certain period of the year, increase leave restrictions for certain student groups, remove leave types that aren’t being used or make other changes that’ll help improve and optimise your boarder leave processes.

Pastoral insights

Pastoral insights are a great way to see how your students are behaving as individuals, groups or an entire school. Filter pastoral notes by date and type, and quickly find the information you need without having to go through individual student profiles.The graph view provides you with a quick way to see what’s happening at a glance. Easily see spikes and troughs in the data and then dive into certain areas for more detail. Alternatively, you can use pastoral insights in the table view to gauge and compare how each one of your students are behaving. Recognise students with outstanding merit and academic entries or find out what's going on with students who are having trouble with discipline and academics.Pastoral insights can also serve as good indicators for greater underlying issues that may be present at your school. For example, increasing disciplinary actions may indicate some sort of bullying problem or reduced academic entries may indicate issues around study behaviours etc. On the other hand, pastoral insights can also indicate signs of good behaviour and positive situations - Increasing merit entries may indicate greater personal development.

Roll/attendance insights


Using insights for roll checks is an effective way to discover patterns in your students attendance behaviour. View attendance summaries for a particular day or time period without having to search through your roll history or investigate and compare attendance rates for individual students in the table view.Discover who’s been missing numerous commitments for a certain week, who’s always present and how your attendance rates fluctuate during the week, month or year.Visualising attendance rates in the graph view may also help you to discover spikes and troughs of unusual behaviour. This’ll help you to ask important questions to investigate the situation in more detail, like why are students always absent around this time of year? or why is a particular student missing numerous commitments?

What’s next?

The insights tool is a powerful way for you to quickly see important information. It gets rid of irrelevant information and presents your data in a clear and precise view.  Insights provide you with the analytics to ask the right questions, target problems and quickly make actionable decisions to improve the performance of your boarding school.In addition to insights, we’re also building a new tool to help you to use your data to plan actions and activities in advance. Soon you’ll be able to use your insights to plan leave details, meals, transport and much more. Make sure you subscribe to this blog to get updates about our upcoming new features.If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to comment in the section below. I reply to every comment :)[marketo-fat form="1107"]

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Kurt Meyer

Kurt is one of the Co-founders of Orah, currently based in Japan. He manages the product team to deliver the best possible experience to our users.

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