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How EdTechs create a data culture and roll out a data platform

With a data strategy and data warehouse in place, EdTechs are building a data culture that helps everyone – from educators and administrators, to employees in marketing and accounting – make more informed decisions with their data.

So how do you build a data culture in your organization? It starts by asking these questions:

Are users able to find answers to their data questions from available data?

Can they act based on available metrics?

Can they tell a compelling story with the data at hand?

How well is your company using analytics? The matrix  from Looker’s Analytical Maturity eBook, shows ranges from “vanity” (nice to see) metrics to “optimization.” 

*Source: Adapted from the Analytical Maturity eBook, Looker Professional Services Team

Adopting and rolling out your organization’s new data platform

As outlined in the previous blog in this series, From data chaos to data-driven: How dedicated data teams can help EdTechs influence the future of education, a comprehensive data team is essential for building a data warehouse. That data team should include a core education intelligence team. This team can align with analytically savvy members of each department they support. It’s critical that the Education Intelligence team understand each department’s reporting needs and can make adjustments based on user feedback.

Include these key components to ensure smooth adoption for internal teams:

Share a roadmap: An effective rollout team always knows what’s next on their roadmap and communicates that to the entire organization. Launching analytics across an entire company at once usually leads to slow movement, miscommunication, and lack of adoption. A roadmap will ease this transition.

Train everyone: This approach makes sure everyone is consistent during the data rollout. Show users how to make the most of the platform your data team has created, and be sure they know where they can go for help.

Monitor and optimize: Monitor your organization’s analytics usage. Understand which individuals are using your education intelligence system to drive their day-to-day operations. These individuals can provide further insight into what is working. Identifying those who may need more guidance and support ensures they don’t miss out on benefits.

Guild Education: Creating a data culture

Guild Education started working with Google Cloud to build a data culture and implemented Looker as their data platform. 

The company transformed their student success program—in which coaches work directly with connected employees throughout their educational journey—with Looker. “As enrollments increased, even spreadsheets were not able to accurately keep track of caseloads,” Sean McKeever, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, recalls. “We needed a singular source of truth that could be updated in almost real-time.” In response, they created “Student Rosters” to manage a coach’s student outreach.

Users were thrilled with the new tools, and when the coaching team grew from 20 to 90, Sean created ambassador groups consisting of data specialists to support each department. This sparked Guild Education’s “data-driven evolution.”

“Unexpectedly, the Student Success task force also became an engine for new BI work,” Sean says. “They blew my highest expectations out of the water and started owning virtually the entire process: building requirements, prototyping, testing, and deploying new dashboards and panels—with hardly any help from the BI team.”

These successes have set Guild Education on its way to becoming a fully data-driven company. 

Unexpectedly, the Student Success task force also became an engine for new BI work…they blew my highest expectations out of the water and started owning virtually the entire process…with hardly any help from the BI team. Sean McKeever
Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, Guild Education

Start your journey from data chaos to data-driven

We hope this three-part series has shown how data analytics has an important role to play in transforming the future of education. EdTech companies are unlocking the power of big data to serve their customers. “The education landscape is changing rapidly, and EdTech has a major role to play as institutions adapt to the massive shift in learners’ preferences and expectations,” says Jesus Trujillo Gomez, Strategic Business Executive, Education & Research, Google Cloud. 

Feeling inspired? Let’s meet your EdTech challenges together and transform your data culture. Visit Google Cloud for education technology.

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