Q&As with Bex Heenan, Support Manager

November 30, 2017
By: Bex Heenan, Support Manager

Our support team answer your queries on a daily basis, so we thought you might be interested to hear what they have to say about life at SISRA HQ! We’re starting off with Bex Heenan, Support Manager, who has been working at SISRA for over 5 years.


Q: What do you love most about your role as the Support Manager at SISRA?

A: All of you! I would definitely say helping and getting to know the SISRA Admins at our schools. It’s really rewarding when we can help someone find what they’re looking for or better yet, speed up their data analysis. The lovely comments you give us really make our day!

Q: Do you have any favourite moments from speaking to users over the years?

A: There are so many! We get to know our data managers really well and this means some of our conversations can get a bit distracted. We end up going a bit off topic, I’ve had chats where we pretended to be pirates, discussed The Great British Bake Off and even shared some song lyrics! Not to mention, we get to see how inventive our SISRA Admins are when they change their name in the service; we’ve had Edward SISRAhands, Donald Duck, SISRA Lord and Q Branch, to name a few.

I’ve also had a few touching chats with data managers retiring over the years, after speaking to them for so long its quite difficult! That’s definitely stuck with me.

Q: What is the greatest challenge you face in your day-to-day role?

A: Problem solving and trying to find different ways to achieve what our schools are looking for. We often get complex queries on chat and we always want to give the best possible outcome or solution. So I would say trying to think outside the box, but it’s also the most enjoyable thing too – feel free to ask us anything!

Q: Are there any exciting plans for the year ahead?

A: As you probably know, this summer we launched our Data Collaboration programme and were able to produce accurate Attainment 8 estimates long before the DfE, and we’re really looking forward to building on this success. We’ve also just released the re-design of Analytics and the KS3/4 Reports, and are planning on improving the usability and friendliness of the reports still further.

Support have started working on a new project to introduce bitesize videos. They’re expected to be super short (1-2 minutes) and give quick overviews of where to find snippets of information in the KS3/4 Reports.

Observe has also been redesigned, with new features being introduced every month. We’re currently working on a new approach to our Observe user guides, which involves releasing shorter, to-the-point documents. We’ve re-organised Help > Guides & Handouts to make this easier to navigate and use our new resources.

Q: Tell us something unusual about you?

A: I’d have to say (and I think my team would agree) that the most unusual thing is that I will dip anything in tea (from chocolate to biscuits and even ham!).

Bex Heenan, Support Manager