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OneSchool Global Uses Octopus BI on AWS to Get Fast Access to Educational Data and Better Track Student Progress

Executive Summary

OneSchool Global implemented Octopus BI dashboards on AWS to cut data access time from months to less than 24 hours and better track student growth and learning progress. The Octopus BI solution takes data from Amazon S3 and uses Amazon Athena to transform the data before placing it into Amazon Redshift.


Driving New Insights from Educational Data

OneSchool Global, founded in Sydney, Australia, in 1994, is a comprehensive K–12 global school system with more than 8,500 students studying on 125 campuses in 20 countries. OneSchool Global specializes in using a self-directed approach to learning, in which students take responsibility for their learning and teachers act as coaches and facilitators. Through this approach, which is reflected in collaborative learning spaces and innovative technologies across all campuses, students are better prepared for life beyond school. To gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of its educational approach, OneSchool Global wanted to take advantage of the increasing volume of data that different tools in the school’s digital ecosystem collect. “In any school system, you always want to know if what you’re doing is really working,” says Thomas Frizelle, Ph.D., global chief information officer at OneSchool Global. “We had a lot of siloed data, and we needed to figure out how to quickly create meaningful visualizations and data dashboards for our stakeholders.” Specifically, the school system sought to display student performance and growth metrics for board members, parents, and other community leaders who wanted to draw conclusions from the data without having to understand the technology behind it. “To make that happen, we wanted to give more people access to all this disparate data, but we have a small team here,” says Frizelle. “We knew we’d have to hire staff to develop something, which was going to take a long time and a lot of resources.” “With Octopus BI on AWS, we can give our leadership data in less than 24 hours. Now, they can get actionable insights right away by using global organizational views or analysis of individual student skills,” said Thomas Frizelle, Ph.D. Global Chief Information Officer, OneSchool Global.


Visualizing Student Data through Octopus BI Dashboards on AWS

Instead of attempting to create a data analytics solution internally, OneSchool Global reached out to Octopus BI, an Australian data analytics solution provider and an AWS Partner. Octopus BI provides an Amazon Web Services (AWS)–based software as a service (SaaS) solution designed to help educational institutions deliver insights through data visualizations. “We focus on making highly complex educational data easily available and displayed through easy-to-read dashboards,” says Trevor Furness, chief revenue officer at Octopus BI. The Octopus BI solution collects educational data from multiple OneSchool Global student and school databases and stores it in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets. The solution uses Amazon Athena to transform the data and places it into Amazon Redshift tables for visualization and analysis. Close to 300 OneSchool Global leaders can log into an Octopus BI web portal via desktop or mobile device and access real-time data dashboards. Data displayed in the dashboards includes formal testing data, student information system data, learning management system data, and student sentiment data from the school’s survey tools. “With Octopus BI, we’re able to create campus-based, regional, or global data dashboards that include any kind of data we want, available to anyone from our schools,” says Frizelle.


Accessing Data in Less than a Day Instead of Several Months

Using Octopus BI dashboards, OneSchool Global educational leaders can quickly gain access to learning and assessment data. “It used to take months for us to create custom reports on assessment data for our stakeholders. And by the time we published those reports, it was too late to do anything meaningful with the data because the school year had ended,” says Frizelle. “With Octopus BI on AWS, we can give our leadership data in less than 24 hours. Now, they can get actionable insights right away by using global organizational views or analysis of individual student skills.”

With updated data at their fingertips, OneSchool Global leaders are better informed about learning trends throughout the school system. “Even if one of our leaders is on a plane or in the car on the way to campus, they can pull up a dashboard to see the latest data,” Frizelle says. “This leads to more impactful conversations with parents and staff. It’s all about having easy access to meaningful data where and when we need it.”
Measuring Student Growth and Academic Progress

OneSchool Global is relying on Octopus BI dashboards to better follow student learning progression and growth by viewing both academic performance and welfare/sentiment trends. “It’s not just about accessing data, it’s also about how to understand that data,” says Furness. “Growth measurement is huge in the education market right now, and we’re trying to help schools more easily look at student growth trends through data.” For example, OneSchool.

Global can more easily measure academic progress through various tools to predict where students should be based on current performance metrics. “We now have a much better way to gauge how we’re doing as a school system to meet those metrics,” says Frizelle. OneSchool Global is also using Octopus BI to benchmark individual regions against global standards. As a result, a school leader can identify whether a campus or region is above or below a specific performance benchmark while also identifying and addressing sentiment- related drivers that might have caused a change.

As the next step in their journey together, OneSchool Global and Octopus BI plan to build more custom dashboards with additional data points. “We see this as a continuous improvement loop, and we’re only part of the way there,” Furness concludes. “We will fill out the platform with different metrics and visualizations in partnership with OneSchool Global. We also care about the efficiency and scale of our platform as we grow, and we will work closely with the AWS team to support that.”

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