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How data can drive growth and people strategy in education

14th February 2024


How data can drive growth and people strategy in education

Data is the make-or-break factor that every business has to get right, no matter its size or sector –and education is no exception.

Organisations with data at their heart can outperform their competitors and achieve solid growth. Why?

  • Data provides information that can be turned into insights to enable better decision making

  • Data can improve operational efficiencies

  • Data allows you to anticipate what might happen – seizing opportunities and avoiding pitfalls

Once your school or MAT has data it can rely on, you have an unrivalled chance to better understand your people and processes, then deploy strategies to achieve your vision and business objectives more quickly, at less cost.

Benefits of robust data

For HR, robust data can be used to:

  • Identify trends and forestall problems in areas such as absence and performance

  • Inform recruitment, training and development

  • Help retain and develop staff

  • Improve productivity

For a MAT looking to grow, centralised data is critical. Visibility over the entire workforce is key to gaining the insights needed to make informed decisions when budgets are tight, recruitment and retention a challenge, and long-term goals seem elusive.

Understanding data underpins the roadmap to achieve your vision.

A MAT without clear data will always be on the back foot, compromising its growth ambitions.

The good news is that schools and MATs have never been in a stronger position to have data at their fingertips. And whilst having more data is good, to provide value it must be:

  • accurate

  • accessible

  • accommodate multiple stakeholder needs

  • acted upon


Many schools and MATs continue to limp along with multiple legacy systems which inherently get in the way of strong data. This invariably means multiple data entry, increasing the risk of errors and conflicting information.

Next-generation systems are far more capable, able to handle more than one business function, reduce duplication and admin costs, and increase data accuracy.

This is taken one step further if the system automatically integrates with other systems, as does Strictly Education’s EduPeople. It covers both HR and payroll, which are no longer treated as two separate systems, and integrates with other school systems such as MIS.


Accurate data is all well and good, but it is only useful if easily accessible. Reports need to be quick to run, information needs to be in real-time and it must be easily digestible. Different stakeholders in a MAT or school will have different requirements, and the data needs to cater to everyone’s requirements.

Accommodating multiple needs

The insight builder feature in EduPeople allows each user to easily customise a dashboard with the data most valuable to them. It can also provide a MAT-wide view or focus on a particular school enabling you to identify trends, and form strategic insights.

Taking action!

Acting on the data is the most important step and Strictly Education has a team of experts in place to help schools and MATs do just that. Our HR professionals can help with:

  • Understanding, developing and implementing best-practice ideas

  • Advice and guidance on a wide range of HR matters including absence management, performance management and people strategy

  • Providing a range of education specific HR content and resources available through Education HR online

Find out more…

To find out more contact us on 0330 123 2549 or at we are happy to answer your questions.

Alternatively, organise an EduPeople discovery call or contact us by email to find out how data could help your MAT grow.