I don't have kids yet (but one on the way). However, lots of my friends do and one of their biggest worries is schooling.
What school should their kid go to? X or Y? Public, private, charter school? Which of the 10 options should they send their kid too?
So I thought it was fascinating that at a dinner party the other day, two of my friends were debating where to send their kids to high school. There were 3 public school options, 1 charter, and 1 private school that they were all considering.
What I found really interesting is that they all did a ton of research on the Internet on schools to make the decision - and 99% of them use greatschools.org
What an awesome site built on top of open data:
(1)-Test scores - They have all the standardized test scores so you know where your school ranks. They also have statistics on student-teacher ratio and education of students.
(2) -User reviews - Additionally they have user reviews where parents and students share their experience.
(3) -Combination - Then they come together & create a 1-10 ranking of a school based on test scores & user reviews. You have all the details if you want but if you just want a quick glance, you get the answer.
It's now the leading source for schooling information in the U.S. with 200,000 schools and 800,000+ reviews and according to Guidestar, an annual budget of over $8 million.
It's another open data success story we should highlight. It truly solves a huge problem (helping parents decide where to send their kids to school) but leveraging existing data combined with consumer facing reviews and experst.