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Nova Pioneer Schools + Sogo

“The speed at which we are able to get insights is outstanding.”

Nova Pioneer Schools

Nova Pioneer Schools is a pan-African network of pre-school through secondary educational institutions — with 14 schools across Kenya and South Africa — serving some 5,000 students across the two countries. Nova Pioneer prides itself on providing high quality, affordable education, with a vision of creating up to 100 schools on the continent over the next decade.

With an overarching goal of creating innovators and leaders, Nova Pioneer relies heavily on the collection of data and feedback from employees (called “teammates”), families, communities, and students to drive more effective and rewarding instruction, as well as a more efficient and inviting learning environment at each school.

THE CHALLENGE

Nova Pioneer conducts numerous surveys—including student engagement, post-graduation preparedness, and many others—each requiring a considerable amount of analytical power. 

For just one example, the organization surveys its teammates to get a better sense of school culture at each facility. “For teammates, we do culture surveys, and two big survey cycles a year,” says Wesley Hattingh, People Systems and Data Analytics Associate Manager at Nova Pioneer, “one a few months into the year and one toward the end of the year. We look at engagement, how satisfied a team is, dimensions of a healthy team, and that allows us to work with teams to figure out how to increase productivity and understand how team members work with one another.”

But before implementing Sogo, Nova Pioneer relied on Google Forms to try to collect important feedback and data, but that system proved to be insufficient to the organization’s needs. “It was chaotic,” says Hattingh. “There wasn’t a way to track down non-respondents, and there was no pre-population option. Some 95 percent of our surveys have some sort of pre-pop requirement, with not having to rely on teammates to self-identify, for example.”

Nova Pioneer realized that their feedback collection and analytics process simply couldn’t keep up with the organization’s demands, so Nova Pioneer began the search for a flexible and dynamic platform that would grow with them.

“We had looked at a lot of different platforms and had a lot of demos with them,” says Hattingh. “But ultimately, we chose Sogo because we were intrigued by the reporting capabilities of Sogo. With the number of surveys we were doing — and the different surveys we wanted to do — the reporting within the platform and the fact that it doesn’t require additional capacity outside the platform to do analytics was very attractive to us.”

THE SOLUTION

Nova Pioneer has now found that Sogo allows them to tackle far more surveys more easily and allows them to gather and analyze data across a wider spectrum of uses. “We use Sogo for any kind of information seeking,” says Hattingh. “We use it for our data compliance framework in South Africa called POPIA, which requires that we give our teammates the opportunity to update their data.”  

For family and community outreach, Sogo has proven indispensable. “We can seek information on how satisfied parents are with their child’s learning—and match their expectations based on the information we receive,” says Hattingh. “For parent surveys, we look at how satisfied the families are, and that is a metric that every single person in the organization is measured on.”

Nova Pioneer also recently conducted a survey to determine whether parents would be interested in alternative education models, as well as a survey to gather data on how its teammates were faring during the COVID-19 health crisis.

“We use Sogo to facilitate all of these processes,” says Hattingh.“Sogo is critical to our teammate strategy as well as our customer strategy.”

THE RESULT

Since implementing Sogo, Nova Pioneer has been able to gather more actionable data, and that translates into more engaged employees and students.“The speed at which we are able to get insights based on surveying any sort of group — teammates or customers — is outstanding. Both the quality and quantity of our data has improved, with the help of the various distribution tools, and it has allowed us to follow up with people as needed.”

Hattingh notes that Sogo has dramatically improved the organization’s survey response rates as well. “Historically, when we were using Google Forms, we were looking at a 15 to 20 percent response rate. Now, we’re up to 55 percent on any given survey, so it’s a huge improvement. For our teammate surveys, we used to get around 70 percent, and now we get between 95 and 100 percent.”

Hattingh doesn’t hesitate to recommend that other organizations adopt Sogo as their primary survey and analytics tool. “I would urge anyone to consider Sogo,” he says. “The communication from the Sogo team is fantastic, they’re always prompt and helpful.

Plus, the platform allows you to do upwards of 90 percent of your analytics right there within the platform — all in an intuitive, easy-to-use way. For any company choosing Sogo, the return on investment will be dramatic.”

“Sogo is critical to our teammate strategy as well as our customer strategy. As soon as we changed to Sogo, it was a major difference. The quality of our data has improved significantly.”

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