With eighty schools encompassing eighty-six hundred staff members and forty-three thousand students, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, in Western Sydney, Australia, has a massive amount of data to analyze and keep track of.
Raju Varanasi, Director, Data Intelligence and Chief Intelligence Officer, oversees a team of six data analysts and a data storyteller that provides teachers, staff, and principals with data and insights around the following:
- Student attendance
- Staff performance metrics
- Finance and HR data
- Student retention
“Schooling requires real-time feedback — we need to know immediately and not later how a child is doing,” says Varanasi. “Why would you wait twenty-four weeks to understand how your child is doing? Data and analytics allow us to catch things as they happen in real time. Behind the data there is a story and context.”
“Previously all our data was in disparate places, and we kept everything in disorganized Excel spreadsheets. It used to take hours and sometimes even days just to pull the proper data for staff, and we’d waste time in long meetings just to discuss our findings.”
Varanasi and his team needed a solution that would not only help them be more efficient and connect school data together, but also allow them to dig deeper into their data so that they could better understand outside factors that impacted for example, student attendance and retention.