Our editorial staff recently asked Marty Reed, CEO of RANDA Solutions, to give us a fly-over of his view of some of the important issues (both obstacles and opportunities) facing Education, especially in working with data at all levels of the education cycle. We also asked him to tell us what RANDA is currently working on. Here are some of his observations.
“Education systems are transforming and the need for how institutions acquire, manage and utilize data makes a tremendous difference in their productivity. RANDA has been a 20-year pioneer in providing administrators and teachers a variety of education-intelligence to create actionable solutions along this entire continuum. Breaking down data silos, automating workflows and uncovering countless truths that are hidden inside existing data systems allows educators to discover the necessary keys to student learning and teacher effectiveness.
RANDA was built on the thesis of “lightbulb” moments–opportunities for software and local Subject-Matter-Expertise (SME) to come together to create brilliant new solutions. We are always innovating to create data strategies and alignment tools that enable Teacher Effectiveness to rise to the top.”
Reed has become known amongst many state-wide administrators as a ‘trusted advisor.’ We asked him how that positioning empowers educators:
“We work with our state-level educators to not just listen, but to truly hear what’s happening in their classrooms, schools and districts. From there we work hard to identify key trends that allow us to go forward and develop strategies that build better solutions. This often begins by augmenting paper processes but hopefully moves on to creating software that disrupts the status-quo of antiquated or 1.0 methodologies, to creatingnew and better solutions for our customers. We constantly review and evaluate how these new solutions can be implemented as seamlessly and effectively as possible.The ad-hoc moniker that drives our development teams is simple: workable solutions that increase productivity and reduce stress.”
" Our first goal is to make all required data as easily visible and consumable as possible. "
Reed goes on to say, “RANDA does not apply these technologies until they are proven in other markets. We do not think our children’s education is a place to experiment with potential bleeding-edge technologies. We adopt and deploy these innovations only after they have been tested and make sense. Educators are in too many spotlights already–they require dependable technology partners. This is a big part of earning the right to being called a trusted advisor.
RANDA approaches every solution as an iterative and mature process. We work with each customer to help them travel from where they are to their own next-best-version of themselves. We use a lifecycle of innovation approach broken down into logical and doable next steps. We are always sensitive to each state or district’s population and context and try to pace accordingly. Onboarding new technology from innovation to adoption–with all of its inevitable pivots and changes–is as much an art as it is a science.
We asked Mr. Reed to expound on this ‘innovation-to-adoption’ process:
“At RANDA we always think of the customer first: what are the goals that they have agreed upon; which parts of the available data do they want to be able to take some form of action upon; how do they prefer to see and consume their available data? Each case is unique. Each group thinks differently about these questions. Our first goal is to make all required data as easily visible and consumable as possible. We have discovered that when you can do that, the essential (but often hidden) linkages in the data will reveal themselves. Certain data, which at first-glance, may not look correlative, actually turns out to be crucially related—but only when viewed in the right context. These links and relationships—that only the data can provide—become the invaluable asset necessary to build solutions that improve practices and student outcomes.”
Finally, we asked Marty to give us a quick look behind the curtain at one of the innovative projects that RANDA is currently working on,
“RANDA is currently working on rolling outCourse Code Master (CCM). CCM will solve a very discreet problem that is pervasive across all states and districts—how to accurately map educational courses, at classroom levels, all the way through the chain from local schools to all consuming systems.”
Sounds interesting, is there more?
“We are energized by how RANDA can add a next piece to the Ed-Fi and IMS Global interoperability chain. We are working to standardize the interfaces between education systems in providing in-line translation for those systems to consume the data in the way they need to be consumed—no longer bound by how the source system produces it. This allows both sides to adhere to diverse standards, but now—with universal translation—be able to see and understand the data in its own preferred context.
Thank you, Marty for such a candid glimpse into this important work of accurate and consumable data delivery that you and RANDA specialize in. We know that it will be helpful to our readers.
RANDA was built on the thesis of “lightbulb” moments–opportunities for software and local Subject-Matter-Expertise (SME) to come together to create brilliant new solutions.