When you find an ink pen, pencil, dry-erase marker, or [insert your most-used office supply] that works just right, it feels like uncovering the solution to all your problems. But perfect pens and pencils are hard to come by.
Student information systems (SISs) can be like that too. When you’re stuck with a provider that just doesn’t get it, your administrators, teachers, and families experience a multitude of issues. Common problems include wasting time on non-intuitive systems, constantly resetting passwords because everything has a separate login, and waiting days to hear back from customer service – even when your issue requires immediate attention.
Maybe you’ve heard similar complaints from people at your school. Or maybe you’ve experienced these issues first-hand. Finding an SIS that’s just right makes all the difference. Here are six common problems a good SIS can solve.
Inefficient Data Management
When data is spread across multiple systems that don’t talk to each other, it slows things down and leads to inaccurate reporting. Your administrators may be frustrated by a lack of automation and inability to complete actions in mass. Or they might be tired of an excessively complicated system that makes errors difficult to detect.
With the right SIS, you’ll have a single source of truth for all your school’s data. This means exporting reports with ease and avoiding duplicate data entry. Dive deeper with these tips for improving data efficiency.
Separate Logins for Everything
We all understand the struggle of having a million tabs open on your computer, each with its own login that’s impossible to remember. Having an SIS that doesn’t integrate with the other tools your school uses – like security platforms and learning management systems – creates frustration for administrators, teachers, and families.
You need a solution to reduce daily tasks, not add to them. A good SIS will integrate seamlessly with the other solutions you rely on. Having a single sign-on makes it easy to switch between products and complete to-do lists efficiently.
Teachers’ Needs Not Being Met
Teachers already have full schedules. When an SIS requires excessive clicks to complete basic actions, it likely isn’t providing a great academic experience. If your teachers are struggling to keep track of student documents and battling to input grades and attendance, it might be time to consider switching providers.
A good SIS will improve workflows for your front office AND your teachers. Look for a system that has options for automating processes. This allows teachers to spend more time supporting students and less time fighting convoluted software.
Parents Missing Important Messages
Overly elaborate systems often lead to one department not knowing what another is doing. That creates even more opportunities for families to miss important messages, not to mention the challenge of paper notices disappearing in the bottom of bookbags.
You need an SIS that keeps communications uniform by reaching parents through their preferred channels – whether that’s email, text alerts, or push notifications. Look for an SIS that’s accessible on mobile devices and has multichannel communication options. Families are happiest when they can tell you how they want to receive messages.
Families Struggling to Navigate Your Platform
No matter how much time a product saves your school, if it’s not user-friendly for families, it’s not a good investment. Forcing families to use hard-to-navigate software can cause several problems, such as increased phone calls to your front office, lack of engagement, or even negative impacts to your school’s retention rates.
The right SIS won’t damage the family experience but instead improve it. To choose technology with families in mind, consider things like how easy it is for parents to find student information and if help is available every step of the way.
Unresponsive Customer Support
If you’ve found yourself frustrated with customer support that has poor response times and doesn’t share your urgency for important matters, it might be worth switching providers.
Great customer support from the implementation stage onward is a crucial factor in your school’s successful use of an SIS. Working with a provider that offers dedicated custom service is key. You need consistent access to software experts who are well versed on your school’s unique needs.
Like the hunt for the perfect pen, searching for a student information system can be difficult. But when you find one that’s just right, it makes all the difference. At FACTS, we’re committed to helping schools find tools and create processes to become their best. To learn how FACTS SIS could support your school, chat with our team.