BigSIS is a cloud-based school management and student information system which supports multiple modules to help private schools throughout the United States and Canada manage their school activities and processes. With modules for contacts, students, reports and grades, attendance, lead management, volunteer management, and more, BigSIS aims to deliver a comprehensive student information management solution.
The contact management module allows users to store student, parent, alumnus or donor details online for central access, while the student management module helps users track student admissions, enrollments and registrations, as well as create courses and assign grades or written reports. BigSIS’s student reports and grades module allows teachers to write narrative progress reports, while attendance and truancy management features help users set up school truancy rules and track student attendance.
Integrated email capabilities enable users to send emails to segmented groups of people, while leads management and reporting tools allow users to track prospective students online. A volunteer management module, alongside donations and fundraising tools, help users track and manage volunteer activity and track the gifts and pledges made to school campaigns, funds and appeals. Through Authorize.net integration, BigSIS accepts online credit card payments for donations, tuition deposits, application fees, and more.
The BigSIS platform also helps users manage calendars and events, as well as online applications and contracts. All documents are stored securely and can be accessed in the document center. BigSIS supports a number of free features including a multi-page form engine, MailChimp integration, financial management, invoicing, and more.
It made my job easier. It simplified student reports process and it is helpful to have the ability to pull different reports. I can get the information that I need from anywhere, I don't have to be at my desk. It gave me the ability to work from home when needed. I wish we had someone to help us make small changes, such as ability to print labels per household correctly and to print labels with just first and last name, without address. I feel that we do not use BigSIS to its full extent and primarily that is due to the fact that we don't have a programmer on site and we are not aware of all the BigSIS features. Maybe a demo once the major updates are up would help. Another thing, BigSIS does not differentiate well between parents and guardians. This always present itself as a problem with parents who are separated and when one parent has limited rights. Parent wit the limited rights still needs to have an access to Parent Portal but we cannot specify that only one parent is a guardian, and the other can see the reports, school directory but nothing else for example.
Having ability to share student reports, school directory and collect school forms through Parent Portal. Teachers having an easy access to the student reports they wrote in the past through Teacher's Portal. Writing student reports, curriculum summaries (descriptions), and being able to allow proofreaders a direct access to those reports is helping us simplify the whole process. Ability to send group email. Running reports on daily attendance, emergency contacts, health information. Customer service is very helpful. You can always count on a prompt, detailed and helpful answer from the customer service.
Not having formatting ability when writing student reports. Sending a group email is a cumbersome and lengthy process. Mailing labels (per household) are not centered correctly, we end up wasting more labels than using. We don't have a programmer on site to help us customize so simple things as labels are not a usable feature to us. I am not always aware of the updates, small updates, which often influence and change processes that I use occasionally . Parent Portal cannot be used on cell phones, which is more and more what end user expects. We received many complaints about parents and teachers not being able to use BigSIS on iPad's.
I like that it can filter for different information, that parents can input information directly through the parent portal, that teachers can share student reports directly through the parent portal, and it's ability to track progress through contracting process. There is so much more that BigSIS can do that we have not been able to tap into. I am slowly learning how to use it and expanding my awareness of its possibilities.
I wish someone knowledgeable could help customize it more for our needs as just a basic starting point. Perhaps I was just unaware of how much customizing would be necessary on our end. The webinars that we had at the beginning were helpful but premature. I think it's much more practical to have our own database in place before we learn how to use it. Learning something this complex in a hypothetical way is challenging. However, I appreciated all the time and training sessions that were offered. Perhaps there could be more follow-up.
BigSIS is not always intuitive. Some of the more important items, such as the help tutorials/checklists, are located in certain tables. There is a certain amount of "remembering" or familiarity that is necessary before it can be used in an efficient manner. This is likely the case for any software, but not being able to find something easily is frustrating. The left side menu is a bit clunky for me. I don't understand why some things are given their own headings and not others. Like "Courses" being it's own section, but "Academic Years" is hidden under Students> Other. Seems like it would be together in one area in an hierarchical order, so I have trouble remembering where to find it.
Lastly, there doesn't seem to be a quick way to pull up emergency card, health info, on a student in BigSIS, and it would be helpful. If I mistakenly look for it under the "Student" table then I must click through several screens to retrieve the info. Running a report also takes a bit of work. I would like a main screen field, that does not have to wait for a table to load, where I simply type in a student's name and a report comes up with allergies, emergency contacts etc. If it takes too long then it's not as useful as a printed piece of paper that can be quickly accessed in a binder.
I hope this helps!
I'd say we are getting the basics, which is more than can be said for other solutions. We are getting registrar records management, donor records management, most of what we need for mailings, and now we are expanding into alumni records management. I have many ideas for what I would like to see from the product that would make the registrar's job, in particular, easier, and they are open-minded, so we will see what the future brings.
Their customer support is upbeat, helpful, open-minded, tuned in to the experience of the user, with fairly quick turn-around on a ticket (usually less than 24 hours), and very personal.
I also love that they listen to the customer, and take the feedback into their product, making improvements. These take time, and of course, the source of improvements are the initial frustrations (limitations) that caused the suggestions, so it's not perfect. But in my experience, no database is perfect anyway, so you might as well go with one that will improve over time.
My biggest frustration is the lack of generic training videos and/or detailed user manual. I see they are adding in little info bubbles to help answer questions (which is great), and there are some how-to videos in the help section, but not nearly enough. I feel like there's a lot to learn about this database that is bottle-necked at their help-desk, and I personally wish that I could learn a lot more in order to maximize our usage.
This being said, they are forward-thinking crew, and their upgrades are well-thought out, and I expect the product to continue to blossom in functionality. I think almost any Waldorf school with a tight budget would do well to jump on board with them, since they offer a fairly robust functionality for a good value.
Improved school communications, saved money, improved information tracking for inquiries and student records, enabled online student reports input and dissemination, consolidated multiple functions in areas of admissions, development, enrollment, information management.
Very powerful program with fantastic support team that has implemented many of our requests as needed. Online portals improve our school communications and parents like the real-time directory and access to forms and student reports. Teachers love the portals for ease of writing reports online. From online inquiries to admissions tracking, development, attendance, reports, this program meets many of our needs.
Does not integrate with our billing system... we use Quickbooks. Hoping to see this in future updates.
Thank you, Lori. We love working with you and our whole BigSIS family at the Waldorf School of San Diego. Your feedback has been invaluable to us and we hope to be able to keep expanding BigSIS to meet your needs and the needs of other schools like yours!
Time savings, all data in one spot, very cost effective.
The front-end is very user friendly; reports can be easily customized; no issues with faculty entering grade reports; ability to selectively communicate with parents/donors/employees; create enrollment contracts on the fly; portal allows parents to update address & health info as well as access to their child's grades, homework assignments, and sign contracts electronically. Customer service always prompt and very helpful.
Due to its multitude of features you ideally need one person who has been trained in all the modules to do the set-up and to make annual adjustments. Normal user would be overwhelmed. BigSIS should offer this as an additional service.
Contact BigSIS for detailed pricing information.
Below are some frequently asked questions for BigSIS.
BigSIS offers the following pricing plans:
Pricing model: Subscription
Free Trial: Available
Contact BigSIS for detailed pricing information.
BigSIS offers the following features:
BigSIS has the following typical customers:
Mid Size Business, Non Profit, Small Business
BigSIS supports the following languages:
BigSIS has the following pricing plans:
We do not have any information about what devices BigSIS supports
BigSIS integrates with the following applications:
Authorize.net, Ceridian Dayforce, Mailchimp, Microsoft Excel
BigSIS offers the following support options:
Knowledge Base, Online Support, Phone Support, Video Tutorials