As students head back to classrooms this month, some may find their education data is being managed differently with better education outcomes in mind. PowerSchool, the provider of a cloud-based software platform for K-12 education, has announced the launch of a fully managed data-as-a-service platform in partnership with Snowflake.
The company says its new DaaS, Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool, will provide school districts and education agencies with a unified, global, fully managed, and secure platform based on Snowflake’s cloud architecture. PowerSchool promises that districts using the new solution will retain sole ownership of their data and will have the capability to securely collaborate internally and externally.
PowerSchool attests that critical education data is currently siloed, inaccessible, and underutilized, and it created the software with the goal of unifying all school data into a single, comprehensive platform. The company lists the benefits of doing so as increasing equitable opportunities for all students, spending fewer resources on data access, storage, and management, storing education data securely in one place, and expanding access to all data, including historic, current, future, and third-party data.
The company says that connecting data from early childhood to adulthood may improve student outcomes and could be leveraged for post-secondary education and workforce development. In addition, using fewer resources for data management, along with access to data in a single store, opens the door for using the data more efficiently and effectively, such as analytics capabilities that can alert educators when students are exhibiting warning signs of falling behind. PowerSchool also notes that secure, inter-agency access to all types of education data may be helpful in connecting schools with juvenile justice, foster care, and other social services in order to help students identify resources.
“Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool gives state departments of education and school systems the ability to transform the economic and social outlook of their communities by bringing all their data together and giving them unprecedented ease of access, unparalleled performance, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing their data is safely secured,” said Shivani Stumpf, Group Vice President, New Solutions of PowerSchool. “This innovative, all-inclusive data ecosystem that we’ve developed, and built on Snowflake’s Data Cloud, aims to help education leaders make the most effective and efficient use of data with greater agility, and to inform their investments so that they can focus on what matters most — improving student outcomes and preparing all learners for success.”
The company expects that the platform will assist districts and agencies with delivering personalized learning and “meeting each student where they are” by providing contextual information that allows for immediate action, such as curriculum recommendations, to support customized learning.
Snowflake’s education platform architecture promises to help data administrators “say goodbye to resource limitations and wait times with the ability to instantly spin up and down a virtually unlimited number of concurrent workloads against the same, single copy of your data.” The company also says its built-in replication and failover/failback features ensure business continuity, while its fully managed data cloud alleviates the management and administration associated with traditional data platforms.
“With Snowflake and PowerSchool’s partnership, educators gain a powerful combination of capabilities that further enable data collaboration both internally across school districts and externally with third-party agencies, all while providing consistent security and governance,” said Head of Global Public Sector at Snowflake, Jeff Frazier. “Through the Powered by Snowflake program, PowerSchool has not only scaled Unified Insights but also introduced new products like Connected Intelligence that empower school districts and education agencies to mobilize data to improve student outcomes.”