Audio + Transcript Version
Interview first published April, 2021@ GR8TR Today Magazine
Today we have a chance to interview Ron McDaniel, Chief Innovation Officer at Outstanda. He will be talking about their program that helps schools collect data from students, parents, staff, and alumni to build a stronger, more effective school. The program is called Outstanda Pulse. Below is the interview.Interviewer Question Let's start with an overview of the product you want to highlight today. Ron McDaniel Thanks. Outstanda has a flagship product called Outstanda Pulse that uses SMS (texting) to survey students, parents, staff, and alumni of a school to know what is going on with them. It is automated and provides actionable data for schools to identify areas of excellence and areas that need some work. Interviewer Question What are some major benefits of using Outstanda Pulse? Ron McDaniel There are a number of benefits. First, it can identify problems with students before the issues start impacting grades. It can identity concerns parents are having. It can boost enrollment. It is a tool to improve staff feedback. And it helps the school keep in touch with students and family's long term, no matter where they move, and measure the impact the school has had on the students. Interviewer Question Why is Outstanda Pulse unique? Ron McDaniel While there are a lot of ways to do surveys, Outstanda Pulse is unique in standardizing questions and measuring results across similar schools. While protecting the individual student's data, aggregate data can be compared to show administrators how each school is doing compared to peer schools. This can be part of marketing or PR, and for a lower-performing school, can be a tool for measuring improvement. Interviewer Question How did Outstanda Pulse get started? Ron McDaniel The product got started when several school leaders got together and discussed the kinds of data that could be valuable, especially if it is collected frequently and trends are analyzed. While the initial idea of an app had issues, it evolved into an SMS service that would do the same thing but not require an app to be installed on the phone. Interviewer Question What type of buyer benefits most from using Outstanda Pulse? Ron McDaniel Most schools thrive on data, so most schools could benefit from Outstanda Pulse. Districts can benefit even more because they can see their different schools and compare the culture and issues in each school against the other schools. This can easily lead to proactive training or hiring a consultant to work for schools that could be getting substandard results. Interviewer Question Is it hard to set up the surveying system for a school? Ron McDaniel Schools can have the system up and running very quickly. It is as simple as handing off names and mobile phone numbers of people who will be participating. Also, defining the frequency and times of the surveys. There are other customizations that are possible, such as creating sub-groups with tagging, adding custom questions, and changing up your Summer schedule. But the Outstanda team helps you with every part of it, to minimize your time commitment. Mostly and administrator just needs to look at the reports and take action if any is needed. Interviewer Question Are there other features that might interest readers? Ron McDaniel One nice thing we added is the ability to send SMS to your audience at any time without a survey attached. You already have the people in the system, and maybe have them grouped in useful tags, which will allow you to send out quick messages any time you need. Interviewer Question How is Outstanda Pulse priced? Ron McDaniel Outstanda Pulse has several pricing options. It has a limited, free option. Then it has an ala carte (pay per message) option and a monthly option. Pricing is very low compared to other data tools schools will use. Interviewer Question How can readers find more information about Outstanda Pulse? Ron McDaniel Visiting the Outstanda website is the best way to get information about the school survey product. You can also contact us, and we will be happy to set up your limited program. Interviewer Thanks for taking the time to be interviewed and help our readers understand Outstanda Pulse better.