Student information: Data happiness
Data isn’t easy
Information, records, data. Whatever you call the stuff we need to keep track of, it’s essential to the workings of any school or childcare center. In many respects, a good school is a well-organized school. The better-kept our records, the better we are able to minimize administrative stress and focus on educational outcomes. The child’s experience is the goal, not paperwork.
Perhaps the most fundamental motivation to build Whally was to “do it right” when it comes to managing data. We used other systems and noticed how often we struggled with things like data entry, formatting, collection, imports, exports, customization, integration, and other aspects of merely keeping our records straight. It didn’t seem like we could find a solution that fully respected the challenge involved in managing data in a truly robust yet straightforward fashion.
So we went into the workshop and set out to reimagine in Whally what an educator’s data experience could be.
Whally ♥ data
We believe that the heart of good data management is a passion for data. That means treating information with detailed attention and, well, loving care. Whally was designed from the core to be the best place to keep data tidy, current, connected, snug and secure. Every bit is carefully crafted to ensure correct formatting, coherence, and trustworthiness.
As much as we like data, we don’t think managing data should be a full-time job, especially not for educators. That’s why Whally does everything it can to take effort out of data management. Each bit of information is stored once to eliminate duplication and overlap. Automated import and export make transferring data a breeze. Features like integrated forms means less time spent on the “copy + paste” grind. And we are always looking for new ways to simplify your workflow and give back every spare second.
This attention to data makes Whally a great place to keep your growing, curated collection of data for years to come.
Your data, your way
We noticed something awkward about other student information systems we tried. Namely, they often define lots of fields that don’t make sense for different folks and expect you to just ignore the ones you don’t need. This results in content that might be useful for one school but represents clutter for another childcare center.
The truth is that every scenario is unique. A daycare might need to track diapering, but this wouldn’t make sense for an elementary school. Likewise, data relevant for Montessori schools is likely not so much for an aftercare program.
When you get started with Whally, you’ll notice that it doesn’t try to put you in a box when it comes to the structure of your records. Rather, Whally is designed to be unusually flexible, giving you the ability to customize and define what makes sense for your needs. With unlimited custom fields of every conceivable type, you’re able to set up a system that fits neatly into your workflow and recordkeeping needs.
Secure access for those who need it
The reality of many teams is that different data is relevant for different members. Compliance and regulatory rules reinforce the importance of ensuring your organization’s data is accessible to the right people and protected otherwise.
Whally allows specific, customizable permissions to be defined for every data field and record type. This means all your data can be made available to just those who you want for the purposes they need. Create as many roles as you need to represent the groups in your team and guarantee that information is shared how you intend.
Auditing: a history of everything
Perhaps as important as knowing what your current records show is knowing how they have changed over time. Whally audits all changes to records to provide a full history of who changed what, what they changed, at what time. In a team of people collaborating on a daily basis, this helps remove any doubt about how things have changed and who deserves credit.