A new breed of information management systems are giving schools new-found abilities to manage the gobs of data they must deal with. Until recently, schools relied on costly, single-function database systems that weren’t compatible with most other administrative systems.

Enter companies such as SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, and SAS, which now market to schools systems that span a broad range of administrative tasks, enabling data from various sources to be integrated onto one platform. Referred to as “enterprise computing solutions,” these systems allow schools to house virtually all of their administrative functions under one database, making for a streamlined and more efficient system.

The web is also playing a part in schools’ information revolution. With the web, a school district, a consortium of districts, or an outside contractor can host and administer the management systems over the internet. By outsourcing and teaming up in consortiums, schools can see tremendous savings in that they will have to invest far less in hardware, software, and personnel to manage their systems.