Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) is a strengths-based model that provides schools with a comprehensive approach to meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students. Schools within the BARR Network harness the power of data and relationships to empower all students to thrive inside and outside the classroom.
The BARR Center came to PDA for a software tool that could help them operate and manage their program. They also asked PDA to automate the generation of annual progress reports for schools that are enrolled in their network. The reports bring together school information, demographic data, and student performance indicators collected annually from school administrators to show the impact of the BARR Center model.
To begin, PDA helped BARR Center define their scope to make sure the project met their priority needs and stayed within their budget. To fully understand the BARR model, PDA engaged in a discovery phase to learn about the program, reports, and data prior to development. This phase forced hidden assumptions to the surface and revealed two of BARR’s highest priority needs:
- Special workflows to upload data from an external Excel file
- Collection of information once a year from school administrators via a secure, tokenized public URL that does not require the creation of a user account
PDA then designed, built, and now hosts a web application for the BARR Center that allows users to manage a repository of schools and related annual outcome data.
The BARR Center can now produce their annual reports in a fraction of the time, and with less manual involvement. The data management aspects of the system culminate in the generation, review, approval, and storage of annual reports in PowerPoint and PDF formats for each school year.
The BARR Center is poised for continued growth and this tool will allow them to scale up and enroll more schools with minimal impact on the annual report generation process.
The in-depth discovery phase made PDA’s solution more focused and targeted to the BARR Center’s needs, but it also brought value by sparking deep discussions and reflection about their own organization and direction. PDA guided this discovery process toward the solution that would deliver real value within the available budget and timeline.
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