Zzish: Boosting student performance with big data

About Zzish

Zzish is a software company dedicated to using technology and data to support education and accelerate student progress through early, personalized teaching intervention. Zzish supports over two million students and 145,000 teachers in 170 countries.

Industries: Education
Location: United States

Zzish helps teachers and schools enhance learning by using big data analytics powered by BigQuery to gain classroom insights in real time.

Google Cloud results

  • Scales to support millions of students while minimizing costs
  • Helps school leaders identify issues and better support teachers and students
  • Integrates with Google Classroom for an end-to-end system for delivering personalized education

Generates dynamic reports in seconds instead of minutes

Data has always been important in education. From graded assignments to standardized testing, teachers and school districts rely on regular assessments to determine how much students are learning. But until recently, it’s been challenging for many school districts to tap into the power of big data to transform teaching and learning. Fortunately, that’s changing.

Zzish is accelerating student progress and advancing more personalized approaches to teaching through data and technology. The company’s Zzish Hub solution provides teachers with real-time insights from digital assessments that they can use to tailor assignments and testing to better address problem areas for students.

Teachers value the immediate feedback, and reports indicate that working with Zzish Hub can improve class performance by as much as 10%. Zzish noticed that when talking to schools about Zzish Hub, there was only one complaint from school districts: school leaders wanted a version of the solution for themselves.

Zzish Insights takes the Zzish Hub solution a step further, providing principals, directors, and other educational leaders with daily data feeds that help them measure performance of schools, classrooms, teachers, and even individual units of curriculum. Users leverage information about emerging issues to create positive, proactive interventions that help teachers.

“Schools often only have the time and resources to assess class progress two or three times a year, usually at the end of term,” says Charles Wiles, CEO and founder of Zzish. “That might be effective in evaluating teachers and curriculum, but it’s too late to help students.”

With Zzish Insights, school leaders can spot if one class is falling behind, or if all classes are having problems with a specific lesson. They can then act immediately with extra teacher training or more classroom resources to make sure all students have a chance to succeed.

“After looking at options, we decided that BigQuery was the cloud data warehouse solution we needed. It’s powerful, highly scalable, easy to use, and one of the most cost-effective options available.”

Charles Wiles, CEO and founder, Zzish

While there are other education technology platforms on the market, Zzish Insights stands out for the way that it encourages daily assessment through Zzish Hub and aggregates data from all students to give school leaders in-depth insights. Every answer to every assessment adds another point of essential data to this matrix, so a large school district may need to analyze millions of points of data to fully understand how students are performing.

“We needed proven, powerful, and scalable technology to power Zzish Insights,” says Charles. “After looking at options, we decided that BigQuery was the cloud data warehouse solution we needed. It’s powerful, highly scalable, easy to use, and one of the most cost-effective options available.”

Creating an end-to-end solution with Google integration

Industry-leading Google for Education tools including G Suite for Education and Google Classroom have long been key components of the Zzish strategy. It was important from the beginning that Zzish Hub integrate with Google for Education products.

With Zzish Hub, teachers first engage the class with a fun digital assessment tool, such as Zzish’s own Quizalize application, which feeds into Google for Education solutions. Teachers can effortlessly assign Quizalize assessments to their Google Classroom classes, and students can log in and take the assessments using their Google student accounts. This makes it easy for Google Classroom teachers to get started.

Zzish is working to integrate Forms into Zzish Hub as a potential assessment tool, and the company one day hopes that hundreds of third-party assessment programs will plug in to enhance their program with rich data features as well.

“With ZzishHub acting as the data layer on top of Google Classroom, we can give teachers an end-to-end solution for delivering personalized learning for all students.”

Charles Wiles, CEO and founder, Zzish

Zzish Hub dashboards show responses and help teachers identify where students are excelling or struggling. Then teachers can use Zzish Hub to automatically assign follow-up resources to each student based on individual performance. Follow-up assignments often include Docs, which teachers use as interactive digital worksheets with links to assignments and resources for students.

For Google Classroom, the integration goes even deeper. Teachers can sign in to Zzish Hub using their Google Classroom login and easily sync classes and activities.

“Google Classroom is amazing and used by many teachers, so integration with Google Classroom opened a lot of doors for us,” says Charles. “With Zzish Hub acting as the data layer on top of Google Classroom, we can give teachers an end-to-end solution for delivering personalized learning for all students.”

“Before BigQuery, we would have needed to invest tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure to achieve the same level of performance. BigQuery changed what was possible for small companies like ours and the school districts we serve.”

Charles Wiles, CEO and founder, Zzish

Game-changing insights in seconds

Unlike Zzish Hub, which collects data from a few classes for each teacher, Zzish Insights is made to handle data from thousands of students at once. It’s even being deployed in the Philippines to track the academic progress of a million students across two provinces.

BigQuery is the key to helping Zzish Insights reach the scale to analyze big data for schools and districts of any size. Because BigQuery can scale up or down on demand, it delivers just the right scalability and performance while minimizing costs.

“Before BigQuery, we would have needed to invest tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure to achieve the same level of performance,” says Charles. “BigQuery changed what was possible for small companies like ours and the school districts we serve.”

With competing solutions running legacy warehouses, it could take hours for larger districts to analyze massive amounts of student data. With Zzish Insights running on BigQuery, queries for 65 million individual answers compute 5 million individual levels of mastery in just 5 seconds.

This performance improvement allows school leaders to browse through data, comparing grades across classes or schools with just a few clicks. This encourages deeper evaluation of data, which helps school leaders spot patterns and identify potential issues before students, or even whole classes start to fall behind.

“Big data can help transform education,” says Charles. “With just a few minutes a day, teachers can collect data to improve student learning. Zzish Insights takes it a step further, empowering district leaders to understand how they can best support teachers and classes across all their schools. By using big data analytics powered by BigQuery, we’re enabling educators to focus on early and powerful interventions that can greatly impact student success.”

About Zzish

Zzish is a software company dedicated to using technology and data to support education and accelerate student progress through early, personalized teaching intervention. Zzish supports over two million students and 145,000 teachers in 170 countries.

Industries: Education
Location: United States