Does the latest RM Unify data provide an insight into UK school cloud adoption?

RM Unify launched at BETT 2013. Last month, September 2017, we saw a set of record numbers for the product with over 450,000 Monthly Active Users (MAU). Do these impressive figures help us to understand the answer to perhaps the most important question in UK Ed Tech today - is the ‘journey to the cloud’ finally a reality for schools in the UK?

We have used data from GLOW in Scotland and RM Unify in England and Wales over a 21 month period (January 2016 - September 2017). We have focused on two metrics:

  1. Monthly Active Users (MAU) - a count of unique users in a calendar month
  2. Monthly sessions - a count of the number of times the service has been accessed in a calendar month

In Table 1 we can see the strong growth in both users and user sessions over the past 21 months. Crucially there are indications of an exponential change - a definite kick upwards as time has progressed. With the exception of the summer holiday period the MAU data trend, in contrast to the session data, appears to be largely smooth. This would seem to indicate a reliance on the service in the majority of the year, but less use per person during the school holidays.

Table 1: Monthly Analysis: January 2016 > September 2017
monthly users

Fig:1

monthly sessions

Fig:2

Table 2 allows us to compare 2016 and 2017, illustrating a clear year-on-year improvement. As with Table 1, we see a smoother pattern for MAU than for monthly sessions, again showing the impact of school holiday periods.

Table 2: Monthly Analysis: 2016 vs 2017

Monthly Active Users (MAU)

monthly users

Fig:3

Monthly Sessions

monthly sessions

Fig:4

Table 3 takes a look at the month of September year-on-year. Here we see a direct correlation between the 2 metrics with sessions reflecting MAU growth. This would seem to indicate no greater usage - just more users. Does this indicate a lack of cloud adoption by individual users perhaps, or is it a reflection of the up-and-down nature of the school year we have already identified?

Table 3: Monthly Analysis - September 2016 vs. September 2017
monthly users

Fig:5 - 37% Increase

monthly sessions

Fig:6 - 37% Increase

By taking an average for the year we can mitigate for the school holiday impact. In Table 4 we can see not only a clear increase in MAU, but an even bigger increase in user sessions. Not only do we have more users, but they are using the service more often.

Table 4: Yearly Analysis 2016 vs 2017
monthly users

Fig:7 - 30% Increase

monthly sessions

Fig:8 - 40% Increase

Conclusion

In many ways RM Unify has always been a bit ahead of its time anticipating an imminent shift to cloud based technologies. For numerous reasons the wait has certainly been a bit longer than anyone expected with the majority of schools remaining for the most-part ‘grounded’. This data gives us some small indications that things might finally be changing...

To find out more about RM Unify please visit www.rm.com/rmunify




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