Data Sleek




Democratizing Education Quality with Data-Driven Strategy

Numerade: A high growth education tech company leveling the playing field with world-class expertise.

We can all agree that quality education is essential to success. Yet, the stark reality is that many factors prevent students from accessing the educational resources and expertise they need to succeed. Educational disparities including geographic location, school funding, and socioeconomic factors unequally tip the scales. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these disparities. Experts estimate that educational setbacks range from 6 months to a year in some cases, making recovery even more challenging to achieve.

The subjects hit the hardest are the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. Some affluent schools implemented programs to help combat these disparities. On the other hand, students in underprivileged schools rely on outdated textbooks, lower-quality talent, and fewer opportunities to build critical technical skills. The effects of these inequalities compound over time and pose a threat to the next generation of learners.

The COVID-19 pandemic draws critical attention to these education gaps. Unexpected events like this highlight the urgent need for democratizing education before these disparities worsen further. This is where companies like Numerade play a crucial role.

Companies like Numerade have risen to the challenge of these educational stumbling blocks. Co-founded by Alex Lee, a computer science and education veteran, the company runs on a passion to see others succeed.

“We created Numerade to help students because they generally have a lot of struggles and difficulties really understanding content deeply,” Lee says. “For us, our philosophy was always trying to build the best learning experience for students.”

What sets Numerade apart is its unique approach to education. Numerade strives to make world-class expertise accessible and affordable, eliminating roadblocks to better education. Their platform boasts an AI tutor bot and a vast library of short-form video lessons for over 5000 textbooks. Students pursuing STEM education can access on-demand video tutoring for each textbook lesson. Each video is uniquely designed by expert educators in STEM fields to provide the knowledge and skills needed to solve complex problems.

In the few years since its launch, Numerade has amassed a substantial membership base of students and avid learners around the globe. The company tackles educational gaps head-on by providing students access to a library of pre-recorded tutoring sessions anywhere and anytime. Its launch has helped level the playing field for students facing disadvantages.

Numerade was making tremendous headway in the market and breaking down barriers in education. After only a few years in operation, its growing library began to push the pause button on its success.

The Challenge: Scaling Fast, But Numerade’s Performance Misses the Mark

Just as Numerade’s membership base grew, so did its need for more content. The company rolled out hundreds of new videos a month. More educators were needed to create content for textbooks not yet in the system. Learners were accessing the website at significantly increasing rates. The growing demand continued to max bandwidth and cause frequent outages.

The website could only handle a few hundred simultaneous users before it crashed. Videos took several minutes to load, and in some cases, they could not load at all. A recent Google report shows that 53% of users will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. With load times over 20 times the average attention span, subscribers became frustrated with Numerade’s sluggish performance. Some even canceled their subscriptions altogether. Numerade needed to figure out a solution to scale–and also keep its business afloat.

Numerade needed a system that could manage its growing database and make its service seamless. Its growing usership began to weigh down its website. The company had thousands of uploaded videos but was still only in its early stages of growth. Scaling the business meant creating a data management system that could handle thousands more videos, all while accommodating a growing group of hungry learners.

“In the early days, we did have quite a few challenges building out our data infrastructure,” Lee states. “We needed a more robust way of orchestrating things behind the scenes.”

Migrating to a new data system was not an easy task. Numerade already had a massive amount of data logged in one place. They needed a solution that could migrate seamlessly with the bare-bones infrastructure it already had. Could Numerade find a way to transfer all of its data to a new system without interruptions?

Slow service and videos that could not play were already causing problems. Scheduled maintenance and downtime could signal to subscribers that Numerade pulled the plug. After all, disadvantaged learners needed access. Even a short downtime could destroy years of progress Numerade made in providing its customers with quality education.

Numerade was not pulling the plug without a fight. Fighting generational education gaps was not for the faint of heart. If Numerade could tackle a historical giant, they were well prepared to face their data management issues head-on.

The Solution: Turning to Experts and Tackling Numerade’s Toughest Problems

Numerade’s strength was connecting with experts. After all, they had plenty of experience working with highly trained experts in the STEM field to provide solutions to tough problems. When it came to their own, it was only logical to contact Data-Sleek experts to solve their data management needs.

Data-Sleek quickly built custom databases using ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) to ingest and store data. The team also created a schema design that strategically organized, structured, and optimized data to make it more accessible when demand was high. This made Numerade’s content easier to search and reduced load times. Although organized on the customer-facing side, its database was fragmented and siloed on its back-end system.

Numerade knew it would continue to scale rapidly. The company asked Data-Sleek to create a dashboard that visualized real-time data to monitor performance as it grew. This dashboard would alert Numerade immediately if the website experienced an outage or if the content was not working correctly.

The dashboard also gave Numerade insight into its user’s behavior while on the site. It could track which subjects performed the best and better predict trends in user behavior. Behavioral analytics also helped the company ensure its customers had positive experiences while connecting with its content. Accurate customer data gave them insights into how they could better their services to help secure more space in the market.

With its newfound data management system, Numerade could quickly scale its business to hundreds of thousands of customers while providing them with a seamless experience. More importantly, it could continue furthering its mission of democratizing the educational landscape.

The Results: Graduating to New Levels of Success

Migrating to a new data management system provided Numerade with the resources it needed to succeed–a job Numerade is quite familiar with. Data-Sleek’s solution helped the company seamlessly transition from one database to another without disrupting service and without losing data.

The solution addressed Numerade’s most pressing need for more speed. Accessible and organized data reduced query load times to less than a second. Before implementation, Numerade could host around a hundred simultaneous users simultaneously. Now, it can handle unlimited users without sparking an outage. Addressing its load times directly resulted in an influx of new and returning subscribers. Instead of hosting a hundred users at a time before an outage, the website now hosts thousands of users simultaneously without issue.

Numerade’s analytics dashboard provided the company with more benefits than outage protection. Improved analytics allowed the company to gather in-depth insights on user behavior and preferences for better decision-making. Visualizing once-siloed data paved the way for Numerade’s introduction of an AI tutor bot. Its data metrics help fine-tune the bot to better serve the unique needs of its growing user base.

Lee notes that the addition of AI chatbots was a pivotal moment in the business. “I think that’s one of the most groundbreaking things… creating AI tutors that can really help students get to the crux of where their problems are at.”

Implementing a new data management system affected other areas of the company as well. Numerade was delighted to find that the new solution reduced the cost of data infrastructure. Under the old system, data management costs ballooned as the company grew. The new solution made customer acquisition more profitable while also improving retention rates. Its ability to view data across multiple facets of operations are opening the door to even bigger opportunities.
With data issues quelled, Lee can now focus on what really matters: the customer. “It all starts with ‘what do students want’… and we build for that.”

The grades speak for themselves. Implementing a robust data architecture proved itself as a smart move. Now, the only disruptions happening are the ones Numerade is making in the educational sector.

Learn more about Numerade

About Data-Sleek

Data-Sleek® is a consulting agency and a leading provider of comprehensive data management solutions. We specialize in data transformation, data migration, data integration, data architecture, data warehousing, and database consulting. Our commitment to client satisfaction empowers organizations of all sizes to unlock the full potential of their data assets. Data-Sleek is a trusted partner of Fortune 500 companies, dedicated to innovating and revolutionizing the way you do business.

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