A UK based school asked us to find a way where we can reduce the time teachers and support staff spent on entering data into systems.
Results based teaching has swept across UK schools and is a hot topic amongst academics; therefore reducing the amount of time spent on this laborious process allows teachers to focus on their teaching.
We discovered that they used Excel to collect data, then used a web-portal to submit it to a back-end MIS (SQL driven) database. Due to the way the SQL server was controlled, we were not allowed to have a direct ADO/DAO connection to the database. Therefore, logically, we had to automate data entry from the spreadsheet, into the web-based portal
We asked the teachers to start putting data into one specific template, with columns for every possible subject and type of grade e.g. predicted, target, actual, expected etc.
Using Excel API, we were able to connect Excel to Internet Explorer to allow data to automatically feed through into the respective fields. As this process can be controlled through the use of specific identifiers, it meant a total roll out across the school was possible – without fear of mistakes being made when transcribing from spreadsheet to web portal.
Teachers indicated that this cut the time they spent entering data onto systems, by around 85% – 50% of the time they spent working with data.
Connecting Excel to Internet Explorer allows for automated data entry, reducing keying mistakes, saving time and allows for large amounts of data entry to be completed without human intervention.