Hoonuit introduced the industry’s first integration from the Ed-Fi Operational Data Store to a data warehouse in 2018. While it was an important milestone then, I believe current events have made this direct connection absolutely critical to the Ed-Fi ecosystem.
Education agencies are trying to harness new logistics for schooling and budget challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, there is a heightened focus on equity due to racial injustice and civil unrest we’ve seen across the country. Further, these issues intersect because student equity gaps are likely to be exacerbated by school closures and distance learning.
So how does a data warehouse come into play? The Ed-Fi Alliance has done a tremendous job of providing a data standard that can be leveraged by any education agency and its Operational Data Store (ODS) provides valuable snapshots of transactional education data. A data warehouse is needed to take the critical next step that will help solve education’s largest challenges: complex reporting and data visualizations that provides actionable insights.
Hoonuit has streamlined the process to get data out of the Ed-Fi ODS and into the data warehouse for visualizations. Better yet, we’ve made it viable from a technical perspective via a direct connection or “one-deployment” stack. This maximizes the benefits of data interoperability (a central tenant of the Ed-Fi Alliance) and opens the door to numerous capabilities that are unavailable without a data warehouse.
Here are three reasons Hoonuit’s data warehouse is an optimum solution for today’s challenges:
As mentioned earlier, the ODS is terrific for “snapshots” or the “vertical reporting” of transactional data – reporting limited to one point in time without connecting information that came before or after.
Longitudinal data analysis allows educators to study student growth over time. This makes it possible to track behavior patterns, flag early indicators, and implement proactive supports to keep learners on track before they fall behind. For example, longitudinal reporting allows a teacher to evaluate student performance with a focus on growth and mastery by comparing a student’s scores since a concept was introduced. Further, as distance learning is broadly incorporated, we believe broader student data sets will be needed to support the whole child. Hoonuit’s data warehouse seamlessly ingests disparate data sets in real-time to enable the longitudinal reporting needed to measure growth and inform around whole child.
Predictive analytics provide a three hundred and sixty-degree view of students. This tool has the power to reshape education by creating actionable intelligence that empowers teachers. It provides informative early warning predictions that identify the need for intervention and instructive college and career readiness predictions to ensure students reach their full potential. Historical data is needed to run predictive modeling, which of course requires a data warehouse. Hoonuit is leading the predictive analytics revolution and now for the first-time ever, education agencies can utilize predictive modeling within the Ed-Fi data standard. Predictive analytics will help educators form a fuller picture of each student at a time when face-to-face learning could be limited.
Leveling the Playing Field for Students
Without question, education is the cornerstone to ending systemic social challenges. Hoonuit’s Ed-Fi data warehouse ensures students have a level playing field for learning. When educators are given the tools to provide an equity lens to analyze data on student performance and behavior, inequalities that were not obvious come into much sharper focus. Longitudinal reporting allows educators to examine data on equity gaps and predictive analytics allow them to react faster and apply intervention or other strategies for improvement.
I truly believe the work we are doing at Hoonuit to support student performance will help K-12 organizations break down barriers and close achievement gaps for disadvantaged students. It is all possible because under the hood we have enabled a holistic, streamlined Ed-Fi infrastructure that connects the ODS and data warehouse.
About the Author
Philip Heimes is the Head of Interoperability at Hoonuit. Previously, he served as Director of Educational Technology at RESPEC, Chief Technology Officer for the Center of Educational Innovation, and founded the Education and Student Open Learning (EASOL) organization.