PowerSchool Launches Connected Intelligence, First Fully Managed Data-as-a-Service Platform for K–12 Schools

Powered by Snowflake Platform Aims to Unify, Integrate, Protect, and Analyze School Districts’ Data, External Data for Better Insights

K–12 cloud-based software provider PowerSchool today launched a new Data-as-a-Service platform called Connected Intelligence that aims to unify, integrate, protect, and analyze school districts’ data from all sources, according to a news release.

Connected Intelligence, a Powered by Snowflake partner, is the “first fully managed DaaS platform built specifically for K–12 schools,” PowerSchool said. School districts that use Connected Intelligence will retain sole ownership of the data and will likewise retain full admin and access management rights for the data, deciding which internal stakeholders and external partners will have access to precisely which data sets and analytics, PowerSchool said.

The new DaaS platform is built on the data warehouse services of Snowflake, based in San Mateo, Calif., which touts strong security and data privacy protections and the concept of “connected applications enabling a single source of truth across an enterprise,” according to its website.

PowerSchool emphasized that unifying all student, district, and school operational data under one platform, with “built-in, stringent data security and governance controls,” educators and education leaders will be able to improve efficiencies and learning outcomes using the following benefits, verbatim from the company’s website:

  • Unification and Integration: A single location for secure data storage, management, and access to a district’s K-12 historical data, live transactional data (such as SIS, Assessments, HR, Finance, Surveys, NSC etc.), third-party data (labor market data, data warehouse analytics, etc.) and all other data sets. Visibility into third-party data sets, such as labor market data, is needed for aligning student pathways with changing job market needs, recruiting and hiring strategically, and connecting job seekers with employers.
  • Data Access: Seamless data collaboration with internal stakeholders and external partners. PowerSchool provides securely governed data sharing while ensuring all your stakeholders have the data they need, when they need it.
  • Data Retrieval Capabilities: Efficient access to both historic and current data, as well as all data accumulated in the future, with built-in security and greater reliability. This includes source system data, third-party sources, and inter-agency data sharing, such as with juvenile justice, foster care, and other social services agencies.
  • Data Insights: Leaders will have ownership and access to all the data they need to inform state and local policy initiatives, including investments in curriculum, tiered supports (including interventions and enrichment), and other programs to position students and their communities for life-long success.
  • Actionable Insights: Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool allows districts to realize personalized learning by providing contextually relevant information that allows users to act right away, such as using student proficiencies to generate content recommendations that support stronger competency.

PowerSchool said its new DaaS solution aims to increase equity in education and level the opportunity playing field for students. “Connecting data from early childhood to adulthood can help improve a wide variety of initiatives aimed at supporting student outcomes and can even be leveraged within post-secondary support and workforce development,” the company said.

Additionally, using a DaaS platform will mean districts can spend fewer resources managing data access and storage. “Instead, educators can spend their time actually using data” and actionable insights, “thanks to machine learning and analytics that create alerts if a student is exhibiting warning signs (e.g., an increased chance of not graduating on time),” PowerSchool said.

Connected Intelligence also aims to help educators better deliver personalized learning by “providing contextually relevant information ... for example, based on the unified data available within Connected Intelligence by PowerSchool, an educator can more clearly make curriculum recommendations that will support greater personalized learning for each student,” the company said.

“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.”

Snowflake, founded 10 years ago, has become a top competitor of stalwart cloud providers such as IBM Db2 and Oracle, according to technology research firms such as Gartner. Snowflake’s reviews on Gartner Peer Insights average 4.6 out of 5, with over 200 reviews.

Learn more at the Connected Intelligence page at PowerSchool’s website.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].