Arbor Education on BETT 2016

After enjoying a typically busy BETT, the Emerge team took the chance to catch up with a few of our prolific BETT-er friends to see how it went. We first spoke to Arbor Education who provide student benchmarking, analytics, and Management Information Systems for schools.

How did this year compare to previous BETTs?

This was Arbor’s 4th BETT, and the best one yet. We’ve been running the School Leaders’ lounge for 3 years, with stands sponsored by UKTI, Renaissance Learning and this year XMA inside the hall, so we have a strong presence inside and outside.

What was your aim for BETT this year? How did it go?

To thank/meet in person all of our current schools and meet new ones, to tell them our story and more importantly, to hear theirs. We made 6 great videos and hosted 500 people for lunch, as well as making new partnerships, so it was all in all a great success. Our whole London team got to go and get involved in the conversation too, which is a really useful experience for staff from all functions to find out what’s going on and what people are saying about us.

Are you going to exhibit next year? What will have changed for your company by then?

Yes, hopefully in partnership as well as running the Arbor School Leaders’ Lounge. By January 2017, we hope to have more schools using Arbor to benchmark, track and manage performance of schools or groups of schools, beyond the 5,000 subscribers we have today. We’d also love to see more partners working with Arbor’s API to connect their applications to live MIS data and improve school performance accordingly.

What is your key take-away from the conference: an inspiring quote, a new product you’ll adopt…?

One thing would be Education Secretary Nicky Morgan’s warning against “constraining the power of data” in schools, which is our driving motivation in helping improve school performance.

Secondly, we were impressed by Ellen Stofan, NASA Chief Scientist, talking on the importance of diversity in teams cracking some of our biggest problems, from educating effectively to living on Mars.

What would you like BETT to do in the future that they don’t already do?

Recognise partnerships on stands to allow big companies to nurture smaller ones, as a matter of course.

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