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CPSI, Ltd., a leading K-12 Longitudinal Data Systems and Data Integration vendor, announces the expansion of their pilot data hub project with IlliniCloud. The IlliniCloud provides services such as a centralized standards-based infrastructure that enables districts to report data. The pilot program included over 30 Race to the Top districts to create an operational data store that provides data to district-approved sources.

Schools and districts use data that comes from many different applications and sources such as spreadsheets. The problem is that the data in these applications must be re-entered many times into each application via manual data entry. Without some way to integrate the data, it becomes stale and inaccurate. This leads to wasted time in the classroom for teachers, loads IT staff with tech support tickets, and frustrates administrators who are trying to analyze the data.

The CPSI solution collects data from the many different applications in real time, checks the data for accuracy, and standardizes the data for reporting, BI and analytics. We help schools and districts leverage all kinds of data – from rosters to assessments to attendance and more – across the district in real time.

The solution uses a data hub-and-spoke, a preferred architecture for data and application integration technologies. The data is published into the hub using K-12 data standards so that when subscribed to, the data is transformed and passed to the other applications in real time. One of the advantages of using this process is the higher quality of data using CPSI’s xDValidator so that valid data passes through the hub. After connecting to the IlliniCloud, district data is automatically validated against hundreds of business rules. We provide many types of validation needed by a district – from basic data quality standards, like checking names and birth dates, to complex validations that prepare the district for state reporting. This allows for fast onboarding of new data into the hub versus using individual connections that requires more maintenance. Validation errors are available through a simple and easy to use error reporting dashboard that is fully integrated with IlliniCloud security and SSO systems.

In addition to providing the ability to pass data to subscribing educational applications, the solution also provides the data necessary for SSO and portal access for IlliniCloud. These solutions together give educators and students seamless access to their applications in real time. Future plans include the addition of an automated data governance and data privacy piece that will allow districts to select the data they want to share with third party applications. This will eliminate the current manual process for data sharing with an easier to use interface.

Illinois State reporting currently requires that districts must assemble multiple files and manually submit them to the state. Because of the time it takes, most districts don’t submit as often as they would like. At times the error messages from the ISBE system are cryptic and difficult to understand. CPSI and IlliniCloud changed that process by automating ISBE reporting in the cloud. Validation errors related to ISBE reporting are provided with easy to understand error messages. Once the data is fixed in the source application, it is automatically re-submitted to ISBE nightly. This eliminates the need for manual file uploads.

With CPSI, IlliniCloud school and district staff can be confident that the information always reflects the true “picture” of the data. Our solution provides everyone – from teachers to superintendents – with the underlying foundation needed to provide up-to-date and “trustworthy” information to all applications.

About CPSI
We founded 1992 with the idea that technology could be used to help students if it was easier to manager and use. Starting in hardware, we found our first niche in network management and created software that would make management of user accounts for networks easy for the first time. That got us thinking, if we could build network accounts, what else could we do to help education with technology? The answer was easy. From that point on, we devoted our company to finding ways to help education use data to help students every day.

CPSI is dedicated to making data accessible to teachers and staff so that they can provide a better education for the next generation of students. We believe that every student deserves the foundation of a good education. Our mission is to help students and the education community through better data.

About IlliniCloud
About IlliniCloud Formed in 2007, IlliniCloud provides cloud services that help Illinois schools run critical applications ranging from school administration and disaster recovery services to student performance tracking and video hosting. Because it is a non-profit organization, IlliniCloud can focus on delivering low cost services to schools. For more information about IlliniCloud, please visit http://www.illinicloud.org/.

About The Author

Ariana Bauer shares the role of Product Management and Development with Franco Francis. She is also one of the lead software architects with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. She is also a supporter of Share Our Strength and Girls Who Code.

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