DATA SOURCES

FIELDS OF ACTION

Ministry of Education, Science & Culture of the State of Schleswig-Holstein

Overview

The work of school supervision usually focuses on strategic and systemic issues. The Corona crisis had suddenly made quick and short-term decisions on the operation of schools on site necessary. The MBWK therefore needed daily updated data on the incidence of infections at schools in order to get a sound overview of the situation at the 792 schools, to make evidence-based decisions and to inform the public and the media. The existing system, in which school headmasters manually inserted pandemic data into spreadsheets and emailed them to the ministry, involves a significant manual effort on both the sender and recipient sides. More efficient data collection and processing became necessary in order to be able to react more quickly to changes

Polyteia and the MBWK were quickly able to agree on what a solution could look like. In close coordination, in line with the requirements of the State Corona Ordinance and the reporting obligations to the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, a digital input mask was defined via which the school administrators could make their reports. An internal dashboard was developed for the crisis team, which was continuously further developed according to dynamic knowledge interests.

Data sources

Via the Polyteia input portal, schools report every working day whether there have been any new developments in the incidence of infection or measures taken at the school. This includes, for example, reports on quarantine orders, positive PCR cases and school closures. The daily reports are automatically linked to the basic data of the schools, such as the type of school, the corresponding district or the number of teachers and pupils. This enables, for example, comparisons between districts and provides information on the availability of teachers. All this is done in a clear user-friendly way with the help of graphics, visual highlights and integrated analyses. The automatically generated reports and extractable tables allow the desired detailed overview. This not only facilitates the use of the data for decision-making, but also allows the results to be easily and specifically made available to the public.

In an iterative process, the data entry portal and dashboards are continuously improved and adapted to new needs. For example, when rapid testing became mandatory in schools, the number and type of tests and their results were added to the data entry portal and dashboard within a few days.

Impact

Under the pressure of the Corona pandemic, the collaboration between Polyteia and MBWK was efficient and extremely agile. With jour fixes taking place at close intervals, the dashboard and input screens were set up in a very short time. Through the project, the ministry was able to significantly expand its management capacities and make decisions about the closure or continued operation of schools on the basis of sound data. On the one hand, there was now a detailed and visually prepared basis for decision-making that was updated on a daily basis, and on the other hand, personnel resources were freed up that had previously been tied up in compiling the data.

Communication with citizens and the press was also significantly improved by the public dashboard. During peak periods, the number of hits on the dashboard was in the high triple digits and the minister and the press office were able to regularly refer to the dashboard in their social media communication.

Visualising existing data on a daily basis for planning and decision-making processes is a building block of our ‘smart streets’ strategy. With the ‘Demography’ module, we can replace the “political gut feeling” based on facts. We want to expand the dashboard with further modules, especially for day-care centre and school development planning.

Alexander Kraft

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT III 3: SCHOOL DESIGN AND SUPERVISION GENERAL AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOLS, SUPPORT CENTRES, QUALITY ASSURANCE