Solution Showcase: The Hoonuit Data Model Explorer

Posted by Bill MyersO

January 29, 2019


A powerful data model is required to fully incorporate the many disparate data sources that exist in today’s education systems. That is why our team at Hoonuit built the most robust PK-12 data model in education. However, key challenges remain. Often times those working through a data model set up can feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of options at their disposal. That is why we’ve developed the Data Model Explorer, a unique platform tool to help support our clients.

 

Incredible Time Saver

 

The Data Model Explorer provides a visual representation of our expansive data model. This dynamic tool is unique to Hoonuit and extremely valuable to end-users.

 

The Data Model Explorer takes the Hoonuit data model and makes it visual so that a user or someone trying to understand our solution can easily see all the different pieces and parts of data that exist – and how they interact. As a result, we are educating our users in a much better way. We can tell our clients the quality of their information, where specific data or content is used, how it’s used, what it is, and how it gets to its specific location in the data model. For a technical user, this is incredibly powerful.

 

The Data Model Explorer is a tool that we rely on heavily to implement our solution as we onboard each client. Our implementation and project management teams find it invaluable. However, it’s not just a back-end tool for Hoonuit, our clients can leverage it too. Kern County (CA) will be “hands on” with the Data Model Explorer through their upcoming implementation.

 

A Better Way to See Data!

 

The value provided by the Data Model Explorer can’t be overstated. It offers an unparalleled view of your information in Hoonuit.

  • Enjoy faster, more accurate implementations
  • Quickly verify data issues
  • Digest information visually
  • Easily view how different data sets relate to one another
  • Understand how data sets relate to dashboard content

 

Here are just a few of the things you’ll love about the Data Model Explorer.

 

Eliminate “Needle in a Haystack” Problems

 

In large data models with expansive, disparate data sets such as those in education, it can be really hard to understand where everything is used and how they fit together. The Data Model Explorer provides “self-service” functionality so you can understand what things mean and where they are employed throughout the Hoonuit platform.

 

 

The big cloud data view (left) provided by the Data Model Explorer affords a more approachable and digestible view of your data than reading traditional code (right).

 

One Definition for All to See (and Understand)

 

The ability to look up and modify data definitions (or descriptions) is a feature that we use, and encourage our customers to use, to fully understand the information that is going into their tables. The ability to see the definition of a data category in one click is a powerful use case that eliminates confusion and potential future problems.

 

 

You can also change definitions easily. Our platform takes the updated description and feeds them back into your dashboards, so they are consistent throughout.

 

 

Here’s an example that might hit home … we see many customer deployments that include the category Attendance Percentage within the data set. There are many ways to categorize attendance percentage and our clients often receive questions about the exact definition being used. How is the field calculated? What absence reasons do I actually have? How are absences being used in the Hoonuit platform? You can now update the description for absence reasons and detail your district’s specific definition.

 

Relational Views: Connecting the Dots of Every Data Set

 

The Data Model Explorer provides “relational” visualizations of your data. This feature makes it easier for developers writing queries, creating metrics, or doing serious ad hoc work to quickly understand the full picture of their information. This is a great tool for implementation work because it provides direct awareness for how different data sets relate to dashboard content.

 

In the example above, the relational view identifies Student data points related to enrollment.

 

New for 2019!

 

In Q1 of this year, Hoonuit will be releasing several new enhancements to the Data Model Explorer, including a re-style to match our Version 10 User Interface, new table formats, and easy identification of fields that are Required, Derived, or Conformed.

  • Required fields will stand out during file imports or filed-based processes. You will easily know which fields are required in your file import, or if a required field has significant data issues.
  • Derived fields are variables that do not exist in a data source and are created from one or more existing fields, potentially across different data sources.
  • We will also indicate Conformed fields, where a certain list of values are expected. Hoonuit will indicate what values it should have, if the field does not have those values, or if it has more values than expected. Conformed examples include like-school status, student status, and withdraw codes.

 

These new additions will be a big boon to those performing data quality, helping to identify what needs to be addressed and the ways to address them.

 

Learn more about all the key steps of data management in our new white paper, Keys to Building a High-Performing Data Management System.

 

To learn more about the Data Model Explorer or Hoonuit’s Data Analytics solutions, contact us today.

 

Bill Myers is Director of Product Management, Business Intelligence, and Software Development at Hoonuit. He has spent more than 15 years engaging educators and creating innovate technology products that solve hard problems and increase positive student outcomes.

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