EdTech business awarded £50K from LCR Activate to develop smart data platform that saves schools 200 hours of admin a year

AskEddi have been awarded a grant to develop their ground-breaking whole school improvement platform, which helps schools reduce admin and support disadvantaged pupils

Liverpool-based business askEddi has been granted £50,000 funding from business accelerator programme LCR Activate to develop their data analytics platform which provides education data intelligence.

The funding has allowed the business to develop new parts of the platform including the ‘IQ Module’ which will allow groups of schools and academies to view and understand data and results across an entire Multi-Academy Trust or region in a way it never has been before. Unlike the data recording and analysis methods currently used in schools, askEddi offers advanced analytics capabilities and, as the data pool grows, can provide predictive analysis through machine learning and AI.

The askEddi platform consolidates data into smart dashboards to allow schools to compare and analyse information, presenting a potential saving of hundreds of hours of admin and data analysis per academic year.

The £50,000 grant from LCR Activate facilitated the development and commercialisation of the platform, allowing askEddi to grow its technical capability in the product. The business also took part in the Activate programme to help create a firm foundation to bring the product to market.  The platform is currently in use in over 50 schools both in the Liverpool City Region and beyond, and askEddi anticipates an increase to 750 schools using the platform by the end of the next academic year.

Speaking on the development of the platform, Brendan Nel, CEO at askEddi, explained: “Teachers aren’t usually data analysts, so there is a knowledge gap between collecting data and drawing conclusions from it. We set out to create a platform that streamlines this process, makes the overall results more accurate, and empowers teachers and school leaders with the necessary insight to deliver improved teaching practice, intervention and reduce their admin workload.

“To do this, we approached LCR Activate with the challenge of accelerating our platform from helping individual schools to a more advanced analytics programme which can be used across groups of schools, entire regions or even the whole country, changing the way that schools everywhere use and interpret their data. The funding helped us advance the development of our IQ Module, which has enabled us to bring the product to market more quickly than we anticipated.”

The first stage of the roll out of the IQ module includes work with Liverpool City Council, looking at school attendance data on a scale never seen before. The core goals of the project are to help solve attendance issues city wide, with a wide-reaching potential to help pinpoint persistent absence and streamline processes.

In addition to giving schools increased insight in a more efficient way, askEddi are keen to highlight how a more forensic approach to data can help schools to support disadvantaged pupils.

A recent study carried out by askEddi and the Association of School and College Leaders using school data revealed a spike in student absence on the 14th December last year. Further analysis uncovered that this day was Christmas Jumper Day, and that a large proportion of students who didn’t attend school on this day were those identified as being from disadvantaged backgrounds. AskEddi believes that by using data to identify trends such as these, schools will be better equipped to take action to support disadvantaged pupils with issues that could otherwise go unnoticed.

Jonathon Clark, Business and Technology Manager at LCR Activate, commented on the benefits of the technology, “Schools are under increasing pressure to cut costs and create efficiencies, so when askEddi contacted LCR Activate with the problems they had identified, we knew that the solution they were developing could have a huge impact. The resulting product makes using data easy and accessible for schools, and removes the huge amounts of time spent on manually inputting and analysing data, allowing teachers to focus on their pupils instead.”

Not only is askEddi in an exciting stage of expansion, the team also has plans to extend the product offering to students and parents in future, giving students the ability to take ownership of their education and learning journey, identifying challenges and successes with the support of their teachers.

For information about how LCR Activate support businesses, visit: lcractivate.co.uk