Organization Name: DataWerks
Contact: Todd Stark
Industry: Data Management Software
Why DataWerks chose EOS from Ecrion to help power students’ progress
DataWerks, a Columbus, Ohio-based data management company, was started in 2006 by former educator and technology director Todd Stark. It was founded with the goal of helping K-12 school administrations and individual teachers spend less time managing data “and more time using the data for instructional decision making and organizational improvements”. In Stark’s own words, “We are in business to give educators their time back, which is with the kids.” DataWerks’ applications help keep children on the path to academic success by giving educators the tools to track, analyze, communicate and report overall student performance. Educators can use DataWerks applications to create and manage educational improvement plans for students by easily accessing an accurate overall picture of their academic progress. Not only do students benefit – educators and school administrators save time and money through automating and digitizing the process of recording and communicating student progress. Empowering educators with the tools to monitor students frees up more time to devote to their success and helps to ensure positive academic progression.
In the process of developing its most promising application yet, DataWerks realized it needed to incorporate outside technology. The comprehensive cloud-based SaaS application in development would automate the creation of goal-driven education plans for individual students, keep teachers informed of what actions needed to be taken, and help analyze and report student progress while maintaining electronic student folders for each that could be accessed by other educators throughout the student’s academic career. However, the Assist360 application lacked one central component – an all-encompassing way to create, generate, distribute, and manage electronic and written communications among teachers, school administrators, and parents. Before Assist360 could be released to educators and administrators nationwide, DataWerks needed to find the right backend customer communications management (CCM) system to power this critical component.
Selecting the Right CCM Solution
There were several key criteria that DataWerks looked for in a CCM solution. Given that it is a growing company, DataWerks searched for an affordable, scalable solution that could be adjusted as it expanded.
The system also had to have:
- A web-based way of editing document templates
- The ability to quickly generate multiple types of document outputs (email, PDF, print, etc.)
- The capability to store document templates in the cloud
- A visual design that mirrored Assist360’s color scheme, look, and feel
DataWerks investigated several technologies from Napersoft, DocPath, and Cincom, but Stark says they had “high entry costs,” and the systems were quite large. Then, the DataWerks team found Ecrion Omni System (EOS). Stark says EOS’ “entry level cost was very much in our budget,” and it also met DataWerks’ scalability criterion. “As we add clients, we are able to scale EOS to go bigger,” he says. Lastly, Stark says DataWerks chose EOS because Ecrion’s “development team molded it so that it visually matches our program.”
CCM Solution with Real World Benefits
Since adopting EOS and incorporating it into Assist360, DataWerks has begun working with clients to showcase its capabilities prior to the application’s official August 2014 roll out. In its current vendor-client process, DataWerks takes advantage of EOS’ visual data mapping, and template design interfaces to:
- Gather, clean, organize, and merge students’ data for use in document content
- Easily create dynamic templates incorporating conditional logic, high resolution images, and media in a user-friendly program that resembles Microsoft Word
EOS and the Ecrion Design Studio allow DataWerks team members who do not develop or code the application to construct complex templates suitable for many delivery methods using the visual interfaces within EOS, features he says have resulted in a “really positive experience for end users.” After DataWerks creates clients’ templates, it uploads them to the cloud. In the cloud, school administrators and teachers are also able to make small edits, which Stark says gives them “some semblance of control.” From there, clients can generate desired volumes of documents on demand.
So far, DataWerks has seen great success in using EOS to power Assist360’s communications generation and management. Last spring, a school district tasked it with blasting emails containing standardized test results to multiple parents’ email addresses. EOS completed a run of 4,000 emails to specific addresses in ten minutes, which “thrilled parents”. “We were ecstatic,” says Stark. Another school administration is looking to use EOS technology to automatically generate and send weekly PDF updates of gifted students’ progress to the district’s custom parent web portal. “At this point, we see EOS giving our clients the ability to quickly perform these kinds of paper driven tasks so much faster and so much easier than they can do today,” Stark says. As for additional use case possibilities, he says, “I really do not think we have fully tapped the power that we have or fully embraced all of what EOS can allow us to do, as well as how to market those capabilities.”
Overall, Stark says that using EOS has given Assist360 a competitive edge and made it more appealing in potential clients’ eyes. “There are not a lot of other programs that can do what we do, because we have EOS; we are putting the power in the client’s hands, which is a huge market differentiator.”
As DataWerks prepares to officially launch Assist360, it continues its relationship with Ecrion. When new releases of EOS are pushed to DataWerks, Ecrion support works to answer any questions or provide pertinent information as requested. “The support team has always been great in helping us out,” Stark says. Ecrion’s development team is also ready to assist should issues arise or DataWerks request additional custom development.
DataWerks feels optimistic about Assist360’s debut, as well as the possibilities made available through using EOS. “I am so excited down the road at the ability to use EOS to produce webpages and interactive forms,” Stark says. “We feel like we are sitting on a gold mine with its potential.”
Choosing EOS as Assist360’s CCM platform is a choice DataWerks is satisfied with, and one it sees as helping to accomplish its mission. “We see it as really improving process in the school districts – moving them away from paper based processes,” Stark says. Assist360, powered by EOS, “gives educators their time back. Time to spend where it is most important – with the kids. That is why we are in business.”
Discover more ways educational organizations around the world leverage Ecrion technology and see how we can help you get the most out of your communications.