With a mission to unleash education credentials by unlocking the critical data they embody, Parchment has always been a big supporter of data standards. Data standards allow systems to communicate and data to be more easily analyzed, critical to helping Parchment members realize the full potential enabled by transcript exchange.
Last week I was in San Diego for the PESC 2013 Spring Data Summit. PESC, or the P20W Education Standards Council, is an organization made up of education institutions and members of the vendor community who come together to develop standards, which are made available to the education community at no charge.
These data summits (held twice a year) are an opportunity to catch up on what is going on in the world of education standards, with presentations on various national data initiatives and working sessions of the various taskforces and workgroups, including the Education Record User Group (ERUG) which I Co-Chair.
Parchment and myself have been active in PESC since 2004 when we first joined and participated in the development of the high school XML transcript schema. Today Parchment uses the high school and college XML schemas, along with several supporting standards as one of only two companies that has received the PESC Seal of Approval for the successful implementation of these standards.
At the data summit I had the opportunity to participate in person in the EdExchange workgroup, a project of PESC’s Common Data Services (CDS) Taskforce. Parchment, along with a number of schools and vendors are working together to establish an open, data exchange for the education community. Once complete and approved by the PESC membership, EdExchange will provide the protocols and business rules that will enable the safe and secure real-time exchange of data across networks, allowing more data to flow between more institutions than ever before.
While I always come back from these meetings working to catch up on my emails, with more on my to-do list than before I left, I find the time valuable to catch up with customers, vendors, and influencers and discuss the problems that the industry faces and how we can work together to help find solutions enabled by the exchange of data. This year I found it particularly exciting that after years of discussing the data standards, the industry appears to be at a tipping point of adoption.
With increased adoption of the transcript standards developed by PESC and new projects like EdExchange, the day is closer to Parchment helping our members exchange transcripts as standards-based data, a leap that may prove as beneficial as when they first joined the Parchment Exchange to make the move from paper to eTranscripts.