Data Quality Is Everything

On August 17, 2014, the New York Times published an article titled, “For Big-Data Scientists, ‘Janitor Work’ Is Key Hurdle to Insights.” The article discusses the struggles facing several startups that offer products and services related to big data analysis. The article’s title refers to the critical and often unseen process of cleaning data to improve accuracy and usefulness. “Data scientists,” according to the article, “spend from 50 percent to 80 percent of their time mired in this more mundane labor of collecting and preparing unruly digital data, before it can be explored for useful nuggets.”

Schoolzilla is not in the “big data” business. Big data is all about aggregate trends. While of course Schoolzilla can do that too, we like to think of Schoolzilla as helping educators solve smaller and often more important data problems, such as highlighting challenges and achievements for educators, administrators, and family members (whether at the individual, group, classroom, teacher, grade, district, subgroup or district level, among other things). Having said that, we believe that consistent data quality and accuracy is among our most important early contributions to our customers’ success.

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