Yesterday, I saw a demo of the Aspen SIS from Follett. For full disclosure, Dylan Holcomb, the Sales Consultant who came out, was a friend of mine from high school, but honestly I wasn’t expecting it to be an SIS that we would be interested in, especially because the price tag is high for the size of school that Highlands Community Charter currently is. But, after seeing how Aspen works, and how they addressed my blog article about the 3 features that SIS providers are missing, it is on our school’s radar as a potential. Here is a quick review of what I was impressed with, and what things I still think they could do better.
There is a paradox: Humanity’s most developed organizations and systems are based upon what is learned in our education systems; yet, the field of education lags behind nearly all others. One such area I have seen, is how feature-poor Student Information Systems (SIS) are. Despite such systems being case studies in many database books, most of these systems do not use any data science methods to improve operations. Specifically, I have usually not seen active security, predictive analytics, nor even resource optimization as features. Here is why these are important to have, and my invitation for SIS providers to come into the 21st century.