The EDFacts Shared State Solution (ES3) was developed by ESP Solutions Group, Inc. in partnership with several state education agencies (SEAs) pooling resources and ideas for a common architecture that solves the challenge of fulfilling the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education’s EDFacts reporting system. With ES3, an SEA has all annual requirements and processes updated for submitting the 100 or so files required. SEAs prefer the ES3 solution to an in-house one for several reasons.
• Risk exists when only one or two individuals can perform the state’s federal reporting.
• Yearly changes from ED for the 100 or so submission files require attention to detail, programming changes, and quality control that typically require time other priorities compete for daily. ES3 handles all these changes.
• A single state cannot design, build, and maintain a complete solution as well as our state partners and ESP’s experienced team have.
The U.S. Department of Education automated state-to-federal reporting with the EDFacts system. The task of compiling a state’s data into compliant files for uploading was left to be solved by each one. Most of the core processes are duplicated within every SEA.
Many SEAs have looked across their borders over the years and wondered which of their processes and software applications they could share—and by doing so save time, effort, and money. However, their time and resources were concentrated on meeting the immediate EDFacts requirements and deadlines and not on software product development.
The SEAs working with ESP consolidated best practices with development resources across their projects to create a new dynamic.
• Microsoft tools are common, standardized, affordable, and easy to use.
• SEAs know enough about the EDFacts processes to pinpoint where the commonalities are and where the uniqueness of each SEA remains.
• ESP has enough clients to allow it to devote sufficient resources to building the common data model, databases, documentation, and ETL processes.
• The ES3 SEA Partnership Association model with an annual fee to support updates and on-going enhancements will be viable as enough states adopt a common architecture.
What are the common ES3 components?
• A user interface to manage the processes
• Two Staging Databases (allowing the SEA to ETL and process either unit or aggregate records and to transform unit records to aggregate) in SQL Server
• Three Types of Reporting (providing feedback to the EDFacts Coordinator, data providers, and analysts/decision makers) using SSRS
• EDFacts Submission Data Store (creating a longitudinal data system for verification and analytics)
•EDFacts typically takes so much time that documentation for back-up personnel or replacements is not done thoroughly as in ES3. EDData Express (creating EDFacts-compliant files for uploading)
Unique to every SEA is the ETL into the staging databases from the data sources.