Why an API for Academic Data? What the MeasureOne API can do for you

In my last post I introduced the MeasureOne API -- the world’s first API for Academic Data.   In today’s post I want to dive a bit deeper into what our API provides and what it can do for your business or application.  

If you’ve ever taken a look at college transcripts the first thing you’ll notice is that no two look the same.   Different schools have different grading systems, different term definitions, different credit systems, and often can’t even agree on simple terms like “hours.”   As if that isn’t difficult enough, there is no common format for the presentation of this data. Transcripts are presented in almost every format imaginable. Digital records, HTML pages, PDF documents, and images -- all are used as presentation formats for transcript information.

This heterogeneous data environment makes developing applications using academic data almost impossible.  Any application developer looking to incorporate transcript information into their application would have to build systems to extract the data from one of several document formats, understand the extracted data from over 7,000 institutions in the US alone, and only then get to the point where they could start making use of it.    This is a tall mountain to climb just to get to a usable representation of the data!

Solving this problem is what the MeasureOne API does for you.    We’ve drawn on our years of experience analyzing and developing models based on academic data to build a platform that does all the prep work for you so you can focus on how to use academic data in your application rather than worrying about how to access it, extract it, or normalize it.   We’ve done the research and development work so you don’t have to. Utilizing consumer-permissioned data, we built out the future of obtaining academic data.

In effect, we’ve developed our years of research and experience with this data in the form of an API that allows you, the developer, to incorporate academic data natively into your application in the same way that you would use any other data such as banking or personal data.    

One of the key benefits of our API is that each data record includes a version of the data that allows comparison of data across institutions.  This “standardized version” is the same standard that is at the core of our predictive models, and which we have developed based on our exposure to data records from thousands of academic institutions.    We have exposed it externally as an API so our clients can focus on developing their own models on day 1 rather than face the time-consuming effort of solving how to compare transcript data from different institutions.

Our goal at MeasureOne is to take the pain out of dealing with academic data and enable innovators to build exciting new products and services for students and emerging consumers based on this rich and deep data set.     As always, if you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to reach out to me at elan@measureone.com.