Power BI analysing attendance trends for schools
Attendance Trends

Track pupil attendance by academic year, term, month, week and even day-by-day.

Track reasons for absence using SIMS and Power BI
Reasons for Absence

During this course we will create this example page, which allows you to analyse why a pupil has been absent from school.

KS2 Prior attainment venn diagram for schools
KS2 Prior Attainment Venn

Another real-life example of a visualization that we will create on this course.

​Who is this course designed for?

​This course is for data managers and aspiring data managers. The people who take this course will include data managers themselves, SIMS managers, senior leaders, exams officers, adminstrators etc. Broadly, it's suitable for anyone who wants to understand Power BI using pupil data.

What prerequisites are there for taking this course?

If you have completed the Power BI Skills course and want to continue to learn more skills, this is the course for you. Alternatively if you have been using Power BI for a few months and you can do the basics this course will enable you to progress on to the more complex areas of Power BI knowledge.

What you will get out of this course

By the end of this course you will be a confident user of Power BI with your school's data. You will understand how to use all the main areas of Power BI (Power Query Editor, Power BI Desktop and the Power BI Service) and you will have a working knowledge of DAX, the computer language that underpins Power BI.

Extra free course: Using the SIMS KS4 Resources

To help you visualize A8 and P8 data using SIMS, this course also includes free access to the KS4 Resources course.

Format of the course

This course is presented in a weekly format, with a weekly topic and set of lectures relating to that topic. You also have access to the webinars recorded during earlier live sessions.

Twenty+ Hours of Video Content

At the last count, there were over 20 hours of relevant, in-depth content in this course.

Pay via invoice or card

You can pay by card, purchase order or I can send you an invoice. If you are paying by purchase order or invoice, send an email to [email protected]. If you want me to send an invoice, please also let me know the email address to send the invoice to (usually your finance team).


At the end of the course you will be able to claim a certificate of completion.

Content of the Course

See below

How long will the course last?

You should expect the course to take between 1 and 3 months to complete. But it is possible to complete the course in a couple of weeks.

Course Guarantee

Not what you want? Email me within 30 days of enrolling and I will arrange a full refund.

Note for 2022 onwards

This course was recorded in 2020. Since then there have been some minor changes to the menu structures in Power BI. These changes are so minor that they are unlikely to impair the usefulness of the course. If in doubt, contact us.


Email me at [email protected]


  About this course
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  Week 1: Introduction to DAX
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  Data sources and the power query editor
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  Pupil data - formatting, calculating and analysing
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  Assessment data visualization techniques - part 1
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  Behaviour, Achievement and Exclusions
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  Automation and using the Power BI service
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  Designing your report and bringing everything together
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  Visualizing assessment data - part 2
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  Feedback and certification
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Reasons for absence

Ribbon Charts for Absence Reasons

View absence trends over a period of time using this ribbon chart. You can select to look at trends over an entire academic year, month, term, week or just one day. The great thing about these graphs is that they rank and order the data, so you know which types cause the most absences and also the trend over time. So you'll know if medical appointments are a factor, and also you will see the trend over the last year, term, week or day. We create this ribbon chart during the course.

Select a pricing plan and sign up

About Me

I'm an independent SIMS and Power BI consultant working with primarily with SIMS for nearly 10 years. I spend lots of time in different schools, talking about the best ways to use SIMS and Power BI and creating effective assessment and analysis systems. I run a popular blog full of tips and tricks for data managers in schools. You can email me at [email protected].

Kind regards,



The course was brilliant, you explain everything so well - Karen Green.

Brilliant! David is so knowledgeable on everything SIMS and PowerBi, the training was clear, paced perfectly and gave me all the skills I needed to get started! - Samantha Barnes

I truly enjoyed the course, thank you so much. I've spent more time with you than my wife (so she says!). I hope that I can set up analysis now for our trust. - Richard Horswell