Sunmin Lee, Senior Programme Advisor/Data Analyst, Community Systems Foundation
From 8-12 July 2019, representatives from the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Library Services, Turks and Caicos Islands participated in a week-long OpenEMIS Lab training in New York City. The Advanced Lab Training focused on Data Analytics, supporting the Ministry in developing measurable objectives, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and dashboards to track progress and goals.
Eugene A. Grant, Education Officer, and Diandra Gray, Assistant Education Planning & Policy Officer, from the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Library Services who attended the training, strongly agreed that the experience has improved their understanding in not only collecting but also using the OpenEMIS data. Ms. Gray shared that,
“During [the OpenEMIS Advanced Lab Trainings], we learned that the system is much more [comprehensive] than just using the OpenEMIS Core'' (1).
The OpenEMIS , when appropriately utilized by educational institutions, not only facilitates the process of entering data but also minimizes the risk of losing data. Ms.Gray supported this statement by comparing the experience of public schools utilizing the OpenEMIS and private schools not currently on the system. She noted that, “Private schools can, at times, miss putting a row or tab in Excel spreadsheets, but public schools are inputting information that the Ministry needs straight into the OpenEMIS system.’’
Regarding the training itself, Ms.Gray stated that the training exposed her to components of the system that allow her to utilize several analytical methods, such as aggregating student data for analysis in the platform itself.
Emphasizing Ms. Gray’s comments, Mr. Grant noted that, “There are many steps to consider.”
Both participants acknowledged that the training is an important step in truly understanding the capabilities of the OpenEMIS system. Mr. Grant appreciated the trainings, as he recognizes, “What OpenEMIS can do and what can be done with it.” He also acknowledges that there will be, “a lot of practice and trial and error to really learn the system.’