Customer Spotlight: How GreatSchools Grows Its Educational Data Hub
Since 1998, GreatSchools, a United States national nonprofit, has helped parents make the most out of their kids’ educational opportunities. The organization has created a school quality rating system that is based on school resources, student outcomes, and reviews.
More than 138,000 public, private, and charter school data is integrated into the GreatSchools database, which has received support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation over the years. Popular real estate companies rely on GreatSchools data to help homebuyers learn about school districts.
With a mission focus, GreatSchools does not exist to make a profit. Rather, the organization equips families, community leaders, and policy-makers with resources to guide their children toward promising futures.
Along with its ranking system and database, GreatSchools publishes an education equality index, K-12 grade-by-grade newsletters, tips, interactive tools, and articles.
‘Fast Feedback’ Makes GreatSchools as Robust as a Commercial Entity
As an organization, GreatSchools is set to grow. With a core focus on research, the nonprofit serves parents, community organizers, politicians, school districts, and, of course, students. GreatSchools has done the legwork in conducting field research on schools around the United States.
Qualaroo helps the product team expand its insight on educational needs and parent attitudes.
“Nonprofits often feel that they do not have resources to learn about the communities that they are trying to serve,” says Kim. “On-site visits aren’t always feasible. User testing is also expensive, as are technical solutions for personalization.”
The GreatSchools website attracts a diverse audience from all over the country, with ranging income levels, and goals for visiting the website. Kim and his team use these touch points as opportunities to better study visitor behavior.
“We’ve been using Qualaroo to calculate Net Promoter Scores (NPS) on every webpage to make sure that we are meeting the needs of communities,” says Kim. “We’ve been collecting feedback for less than a year and have collected 20,000 responses. This information helps our organization share valuable insight with the foundations that give us funding.”
Qualitative Research Transforms Data Points into Insights
Qualaroo is part of a portfolio of other tools that GreatSchools uses, including UserTesting and Google Analytics.
“Every website visitor comes to GreatSchools for a different reason,” says Kim. “We put Qualaroo on every web page and site feature to understand what parents and community members care about.”
Qualaroo helps us answer questions like the following:
What is your goal?
Why are you at this particular page?
Why are you looking at a particular section?
Why is this information important to you?
What don’t you like about this content?
Are you feeling confused, and if so, why?
The feedback Great Schools has received via Qualaroo has helped them:
Identify website bugs
Learn about why people visit GreatSchools
Expand upon the organization’s field research capabilities
Recruit parents who are willing to share in-depth feedback
Ensure that all features are useful.
“Qualaroo reaches about 15,000 GreatSchools visitors each day. We have deployed more than 140 insights studies over the last 5 years, when we began using Qualaroo.”
Great Schools receives more than four million unique visitors per month—more than most commercial websites. Information-gathering is an efficient, effective way for non profit organizations to be more successful with their grant money.