Becoming a school data manager

An increasingly complex school environment and a relentless focus on attainment means there’s a hunger for data and a need for sophisticated data management. The school data manager is becoming a pivotal figure in all of this, providing accurate data and up-to-the minute interpretation of pupil information. Good data is the foundation for target-setting and an indicator for interventions to increase attainment. The person in charge of this powerful tool - the data manager - has to be able to manipulate and disseminate data effectively to the whole school community.

Salary

Remuneration will vary enormously depending on the size of the school and the nature of the post, which can range from data inputting and maintenance to being a strategic adviser to the senior leadership team.
A junior data manager can expect to start on around £17,500 with the salary going up to £25,000. Those in a more senior role can earn between £30,000 and £40,000.

Hours

Some jobs are term time only while others are 52 weeks with the last three weeks of August being the busiest for assessing exam results data.

Data manager duties

The successful applicant will be working to and alongside the leadership team to provide strategic leadership and effective management in the development of pupil data and reporting systems. A data manager will work with all staff at all levels and with the governing body.

You will be responsible for…

  • Design, creation and maintenance of an accurate and up-to-date management information system
  • Sats data
  • Pupil future estimates
  • External results data
  • Internal attainment grades
  • Set-making
  • Identifying groups of pupils and identifying underachievement
  • Liaising with and briefing senior leaders, governors, heads of department and exam officers on the interpretation and implication of data

You will have an in depth working knowledge of MIS systems and be able to use RAISE online.

Qualifications needed to become a data manager

Accountants, business analysts and other professionals used to manipulating and and interpreting data do well. You can beef up your data analysis skills by taking an industry-recognised course. The Open University has a course on data analysis Chartered Management Institute also provides certified courses for data analysis

Above all, an in-depth knowledge and successful track record of working with the appropriate MIS system is the most important qualification. The main ones are:

  • SIMS (Capita)
  • IntegrisG2 (RM Education)
  • E1 (Pearson)
  • CMIS (Serco)
  • SITS (Student Information System)

Commonly used data reporting and mining tools include:

  • Pars and Target (Tasc Software )
  • 4matrix
  • Pupil Tracking
  • Classroom Monitor
  • Go for Schools

Skills and knowledge needed

The ability to:

  • Make the complex appear simple
  • Communicate well to a range of audiences
  • Be highly ICT literate and proficient user of Excel and other databases
  • Analyse and present data accurately to a range of stakeholders
  • Be well organised with a good eye for detail

Best route into data management

A background in accounting, business analysis or any other role which involves data interpretation would be useful.