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Looking beyond cost: how data silos are detrimental to the student experience

To say that data governance and hygiene in education could be better would be putting it lightly. As we’ve noted before, 60% of school districts report a lack of visibility across data systems. In addition to hampering their ability to make data-driven decisions, this results in a number of not-inconsiderable hidden costs, including: 

  • Inefficient interactions and mismatched technology
  • Wasted time trying to sort through disorganized data
  • Overspending on software and infrastructure
  • Application overload. 

Siloed data has been an ongoing problem in the education sector for some time now. It was only with the pandemic that it truly became too egregious to ignore. With the proliferation of virtual learning, effective management of student information is no longer simply a matter of optimization, but necessity. 

In order to provide smoother virtual learning, keep students engaged, and reduce the workload of already-overwhelmed faculty — today’s school districts must first shatter their data silos. Because until they do, those silos will continue to adversely affect student outcomes. 

In this post, we’ll dive into how data silos are impacting the student experience and why this matters more than ever.

Why Data Silos Must Be Brought Down for Students

Fewer Resources

As we already mentioned, the mere presence of data silos represents a drain on school district resources. 

Instead of devoting more energy towards preparing students for their future, faculty and administrators expend time and resources trying to deal with their data problems. In addition to having less available bandwidth for students, this also means less capital. 

Lower Quality Learning

It’s been established on more than one occasion that teachers are feeling overwhelmed. Many professionals in the education sector are barely holding on by a thread,drowning in work with no end in sight. Many have even gone as far as to say they’re nearing their breaking point

As anyone who’s experienced that level of exhaustion will attest, even a minor inconvenience can be enough to push someone over the edge and into burnout. At best, that means teachers that are mentally and emotionally checked out. At worst, it means the remaining educators become even more overworked and overwhelmed. 

And with the potential of a vaccine mandate potentially costing 50,000 educators their jobs in Ontario alone, there’s no apparent end to the stress in sight. 

Given such a stressful environment, it follows that school districts should do everything in their power to facilitate easier teaching. A big part of that is consolidation — breaking the data silos and ensuring that teachers don’t have to search three different servers just to find a student’s grade.   

Missed Insights

The greatest strength of student-targeted analytics is that it allows educators to both see and predict problematic trends in behavior. This could be anything from chronic absenteeism to open delinquency to simply looking ‘checked out’ in class. And many of these issues, if left unchecked, have the potential to spiral into something that may permanently harm a student’s future prospects. 

You can even turn HR data into new insights. For example, you may be able to measure how teacher absences impact student outcomes, or how a teacher’s academic credentials impact student success.

The takeaway is clear. Having the capacity to visualize, analyze, and drill down into granular data such as report cards, disciplinary records, attendance records, and other key data equips teachers with the capacity to forge stronger, deeper relationships with their students. More importantly, they can leverage their insights to build personalized lesson plans tailor-made to improve student engagement. 

None of this is possible without consolidation. Not in any way that’s worth the effort. 

Security Concerns

Spambots and worms are becoming more complex. Ransomware continues to gain prominence. Criminals continue to find creative new fraud tactics. Crime has been booming over the past several months, and growth shows no real indication of slowing. 

Because schools so regularly deal with protected, sensitive data like contact information and financial information they must also ensure that data is properly stored. You’re likely not surprised to hear that yet again, silos are the enemy here.

With data spread across so many different servers and devices, it becomes difficult to track.

Lack of Team Cohesion

As anyone who’s spent prolonged hours working from home, a proper work/life balance is incredibly difficult to come by. 

When information is siloed, staff and students may not always have access to the latest data, instructions, and other insights needed to effectively communicate. This often leads to miscommunication, unnecessary friction, and wasted resources.

Shatter Your Silos With Help from Edsembli

Unfortunately, cracking down silo walls is far easier said than done. Many districts, particularly smaller ones, must cope with what amounts to a skeleton crew in their IT department. They’ve neither the time nor the resources to oversee an upgrade, nor do they have the bandwidth to tackle the job manually — not without further reducing learning quality. 

Yet the potential returns are more than worth the effort. 

Edsembli can handle that for you. 

When it comes to running a better school with happier, healthier students and faculty, it’s clear school districts need to overcome their data silos. 

We’ve worked in the education sector for decades, and so have a deep understanding of the needs and challenges currently facing school systems, 

The powerful Edsembli ecosystem is built by education, for education. It was inspired by school districts seeking to overcome their own sector-specific problems. 

Whether you need a new student information system or ERP, want to practice better overall integration, Edsembli has you covered. Book your demo today and see how Edsembli can help you move beyond your data silos.

Book your demo with an Edsembli education specialist today

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