Going Beyond Tableau With Schoolzilla

Good data visualization starts with two key ingredients: properly structured data and a great visualization tool. Schoolzilla provides school districts with the unique combination of a powerful data infrastructure and—via Tableau Software—an intuitive and beautiful data visualization tool. This combination allows district leaders to build and share the exact dashboards they need to answer the questions that matter most to serving their students.

Tableau is so great that sometimes we’re asked, “Why do we need Schoolzilla? Can’t we just do it all with Tableau?”

Think about the last time you created a bar chart in Excel, GooDatagle Sheets, or even Tableau. It only took you two seconds to press that bar chart button. But were you finished? Usually not. Most of the time, you realized that your data was not in the right format, didn’t have the right column names, or wasn’t at the right level of detail for that button to work. You ended up spending hours manipulating your data or using Jedi-level chart skills to get the chart you wanted. That’s because the data wasn’t properly structured.

In most schools, important data lives in 30 places or more. Schoolzilla brings that data together and transforms it into a data model that’s optimized for reporting. Without Schoolzilla’s data infrastructure, schools and districts will continue to spend 80% of their time organizing, connecting, massaging, and updating data to get it ready for Tableau to do its magic. We created Schoolzilla to eliminate the hours wasted in schools every day preparing data—and to give that time back to the data champions in school systems so they can push the frontiers of insight, usability, and data-driven action.

“Schoolzilla has enhanced our data work immeasurably. Our partnership with Schoolzilla has allowed us to provide real-time dashboards and analyses to our school leaders and staff. We used to build these reports by hand, using many different data sources. Now we have a centralized, live dashboarding platform.” —Edmund Han, Director of Data and Analytics, KIPP DC

Schoolzilla uses Tableau’s software for two primary reasons: to build our own out-of-the-box reports and to provide our partner organizations a way to build customized reports. But the ability to create and customize dashboards is only the top layer of Schoolzilla’s offering. Schoolzilla provides school systems with the technology and data solutions to make data visualization possible.

Here are 6 effective time-saving techniques

  • Time-Saving Data Integrations. Schoolzilla supports the time-intensive, ongoing, and costly work of maintaining the data connections required for your Tableau reports. If a state or vendor changes its file layout, Schoolzilla will do the work to make these layouts compatible with Schoolzilla. This ensures that reports that worked for last year’s state test will continue to work for current and future years.
  • Intuitive Dashboard Library. Schoolzilla offers beautiful out-of-the-box reports that we have built from the feedback and recommendations of teachers, principals, and data analysts. These reports are designed to be action-oriented, and they have been put to the test by organizations across the country.
  • Improved Data Quality. Schoolzilla supports our partners and school systems by helping them improve the quality of data in their systems. Schoolzilla does this by proactively identifying errors and ensuring that standard and custom reporting in these systems is accurate.
  • Effective Data Standardization. Schoolzilla transforms data from a variety of formats and different data systems that may be found in your organization into the same structure. This makes it much easier to build reports using data from multiple data systems (e.g., a SIS, blended learning tool, or an assessment).
  • Optimized Data Structure. Schoolzilla has years of experience working with education data and Tableau. We have learned how to best optimize data structures to empower sophisticated analysis using Tableau. Schoolzilla saves you the time once spent structuring your data with pivoting and manual reorganization, allowing you to get right to the analysis and reporting.
  • Secure Data Warehouse. We power your data through a secure, hosted data warehouse that puts all of your data in one place to help make sure it is only shared with the appropriate people serving students.
  • Customized Data Wall. Schoolzilla’s Data Wall enables you to manage and share the reports in your dashboard library so you can prioritize your most important reports, favorite the reports you find most useful, group reports by theme, project, or collection, and label reports so you can identify relevant trends and think about what to do next.

Together Schoolzilla and Tableau empower you with the tools to build, maintain, and share data visualizations that have an impact. Check out our online demo to see how easy it is to create your own dashboards with Schoolzilla.