Guide to Choosing the Right Student Information System

6 July 2024
Student Information Software

Can we equate success with efficiency? Yes, we can, especially when both are interdependent in the context of educational institutes. Schools and colleges rely on the smooth functioning of multiple departments and processes.

However, manually operated tasks or basic computerised mechanisms hardly suffice when the team has to manage an intense workload. That is why an advanced tool like the student information system is an ideal assistive technological solution.

But it may cause a lot of confusion when it comes to choosing a SIS; therefore, take a look at some of the following factors:

Student Information Software

1. Determine the institutional Requirements

Adopting the newest tool to amplify organisational activities does more harm than good if an institute does not run a requirement analysis. Before selecting a new solution or piece of software, institutes must determine their needs.

Why? The answer is simple: each institute has its own unique requirements and goals, which might be different. For instance, they can consider the following points:

  • Number of students per class, batch, or semester
  • Number of departments, staff members, or faculty
  • Number of courses and programmes
  • The pain points are specific issues that the admin faces while executing several tasks simultaneously.
  • Obstacles in administrative activities
  • Desired functionalities that a tool should possess that will accomplish any particular task.

2. Centralised Database

Consider a situation where an admin staff member is busy with a task when suddenly he or she has to get up and retrieve a document for a stakeholder. Wouldn’t it be much easier if they could collect or share files digitally?

That is exactly what SIS provides: a centralised database platform where institutes can store, collect, and share files and documents. Besides, the digitalized database system is cloud-based, allowing the storage of vital student information.

Whether it is exam grades, student attendance, certificates, academic progress reports, medical history, or emergency contact information, it can store it all. Furthermore, the admin or faculty can access the relevant information and files through the centralised platform.

Therefore, if the accounts department or the teacher wants information on a certain student, they don’t have to sort files manually. They can simply access the system, saving them extra time and effort.

3. Integration Capabilities

Educational institutes strive to meet the learning needs of all students; therefore, teachers discover varying knowledge and learning levels. Hence, they are open to implementing appropriate strategies and tools.

So, while choosing an SIS, ensure that the tool has integration capabilities, which will facilitate smooth interoperability with other tools. For example, institutes could integrate it with a student management system that streamlines student-related activities effortlessly.

Furthermore, it is a strategic measure to avoid any compatibility issues that might occur in the future while integrating learning tools with the SIS. Also, it will benefit the institute by ensuring efficient operations.

How Student Information Systems Benefit Teachers and Educators

4. Scalability

How scalable is the tool? Does it support multiple operations running simultaneously? Will it malfunction in the middle of a task? Addressing these questions is crucial, especially in finding accurate answers and tool suitability.

There have been many instances wherein a tool stopped responding midway through the admission process due to excessive activities. Moreover, an institute is conducive to expanding its operations, owing to greater enrollments.

Plus, most institutes strive to maintain a higher GER (gross enrollment ratio) and student retention rates. Hence, select a SIS that can accommodate the growing student population and increased institutional activities.

5. Information Analytics

One of the primary aims of institutes is to facilitate the comprehensive development of all students. However, it is an ambitious feat that is difficult to achieve without a little extra help from technological solutions.

That is why one must look for an SIS that comes with analytical features and provides the following advantages:

  • Collects and compiles data on students’ performance in academic and co-curricular activities.
  • Generates exam-wise analytical reports
  • Advanced result analytics

These features serve to provide accurate reports of students' overall performance, providing insight into their progress. Hence, teachers can use the data to determine whether or not students have made improvements.

Additionally, the tool has customisation options, which help to modify the report cards with personalised and highlighted feedback.

Challenges in Implementing and Maintaining Student Information Systems

6. Student Attendance Analytics

Establishing a strict rule wherein students must maintain a mandatory attendance percentage is a partially effective move. So, is there a solution to regulate attendance? There sure is, and the SIS that comes with attendance analytics is an important feature one should look out for.

The attendance analytics feature enables teachers to automate inputs as well as manually record them with just a single click. Furthermore, there are additional benefits, such as:

  • Teachers can check attendance for any date through class-wise or student-wise formats.
  • Carry out a comparative analysis of overall attendance, helping to determine the total number of present, absent, and unmarked students.
  • Tracks the students’ attendance effectively.
  • Highlights the list of students who are frequent absentees.
  • It helps identify at-risk students.

Attendance analytics features provide valuable information that teachers can utilise to retain at-risk students and maintain regularity.

7. Data security and privacy

Storing institutional data in an online format eliminates the manual effort of maintaining files and folders. Also, it is a far more efficient system; nonetheless, the issue of data security is a major concern.

Institutes must strive to look for a student information system that ensures high data security through cloud-based functionality. Additionally, it must comply with data protection regulations and provide role-based access.

As a result, authorised personnel will be able to access institutional data and prevent unauthorised access efficiently. At the same time, the encryption methodology protects the password and user credentials.

8. User-Friendly

One can install the latest software and buy the most advanced software, but it would defeat the purpose if it were not user-friendly. Hence, ensure that the student information system provides a smooth user experience.

Moreover, the easy usability helps stakeholders navigate the system without assistance and execute tasks efficiently. What’s more, it helps to carry out the following:

  • Accomplish day-to-day tasks with reduced time and effort.
  • Eliminate manual errors.
  • Better data management
  • Easy accessibility of information like attendance records, performance data, and student enrollment in a timely manner
  • Measure student learning outcomes by tracking student engagement and assessment data.

9. Automatic updates and multiple backups

Manually collecting and maintaining student information in files and folders or basic computerised systems is outdated. Therefore, upgrading to an advanced system like the SIS is an ideal solution.

Therefore, opting for a system that comes with an auto-update mechanism is important, which helps to update the system without manual intervention. Likewise, automatic security updates ensure protection from hacking activities.

On the other hand, multiple automatic backups ensure the saving of all student and institutional information on the cloud platform.

Seamless Student Journeys, Smooth Academic Lifecycles with MasterSoft!

Let’s wrap it up

The Student Information System (SIS) is a modern technological solution that automates administrative functions and elevates productivity. However, the institute must consider various factors, including its requirements, scalability, budget, etc., before making the decision.

Also, a robust SIS contributes to institutional success by improving administrative activities, data management, and student performance.

Posted By
Gurudev Somani

Academic Consultant

Address : Mastersoft ERP Solutions Pvt. Ltd., MIHAN, Nagpur, India 441108

E-mail : presales@iitms.co.in

Phone : +91-712-2713714, 8448010216